While the Japanese military has succeeded in dumping water on top of the Fukushima plant, the head of the Nuclear Regulatory commission now says that the water surrounding reactor no. 4 may have run dry:
Japanese military helicopters dumped water on an overheating nuclear plant on Thursday while the United States expressed growing alarm about leaking radiation and said it was sending aircraft to help Americans leave the country.
Engineers tried to run power from the main grid to start water pumps needed to cool two reactors and spent fuel rods considered to pose the biggest risk of spewing radioactivity into the atmosphere as the capital faced possible widespread powercuts.
While Japanese officials scrambled with a patchwork of fixes, the top U.S. nuclear regulator warned that the cooling pool for spent fuel rods at reactor No.4 may have run dry and another was leaking.
Gregory Jaczko, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told a parliamentary hearing that radiation levels around the cooling pool were extremely high, posing deadly risks for workers still toiling in the wreckage of the earthquake-shattered power plant.
“It would be very difficult for emergency workers to get near the reactors. The doses they could experience would potentially be lethal doses in a very short period of time,” he said in Washington.
Full story here.