Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan Continues Efforts to Cool Quake-Damaged Reactors at Nuclear Plant

apan is continuing its frantic effort to cool damaged reactors and exposed fuel rods at the crippled coastal nuclear power plant damaged by the tsunami following the magnitude nine earthquake a week ago.

For a second consecutive day, firefighters entered the crippled nuclear power plant here in Fukushima prefecture (state). They sprayed water on damaged reactor buildings, making what is considered a risky attempt to cool highly radioactive fuel rods.

Powerful hoses were used to shoot 50 tons of water directly on them but the firefighters have to keep their distance and limit the time they can be inside the complex because of the radiation. But the military appears to have given up trying to repeat Thursday's water drops, by helicopter, on the damaged reactor buildings.

Meanwhile, utility workers are extending an emergency power cable to the 40-year-old complex. That would allow a steady supply of electricity to run water pumps. But government officials say it could be Sunday before cooling units can be re-started at the number two and three reactors.

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