Japan tries to restore power in N plants

Unit 4 of the Fukushima nuclear plant
Japanese engineers are battling to restore power in the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant and prevent a meltdown, as fears of radioactive leakage mount.

Disaster teams have managed to get a power line onto the site to reactivate the water pumps to cool the overheating reactors, Reuters reported on Friday.

However, the US has warned of extremely high radiation levels at the plant’s number four reactor after announcing that no water was left in the reactor’s fuel storage pool.

Washington has also said the cooling process could take weeks and asked people living within 80 km (50 miles) of the Daiichi plant to evacuate or remain indoors “as a precaution.”

On Thursday, Japanese helicopters sprayed water on the Fukushima reactors in an effort to cool the plant. However, Japan’s nuclear agency spokesman, Hidehiko Nishiyama, says the effect of the measure is not clear.

“We have to reduce the heat somehow and may use seawater. We need to get the reactors back online as soon as possible and that’s why we’re trying to restore power to them,” Nishiyama said.

Japanese engineers said on Friday that a Chernobyl-style of overcoming the disaster by burying the plant in sand and concrete could be the last possible choice to prevent the radiation release.

“It is not impossible to encase the reactors in concrete. But our priority right now is to try and cool them down first,” an official from the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said

Japanese officials say the death toll has passed 6,500 while other sources put the death toll at over 16,000. Nearly half a million people have been misplaced


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