Japan SDF helicopters dump water on two stricken nuclear reactors

10:48, March 17, 2011      

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This still image taken from news program by NHK on March 17, 2011 shows a helicopter spray water on the reactors of Japan's troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station. Helicopters were sent by Japan's self-defense force on Friday to cool down the reactors of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station. (Xinhua/NHK)

Japan's Self-Defense Force are dumping water on the damaged No. 3 reactor by helicopter following the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) failing to cool it sufficiently on Wednesday and Thursday.

The plan was originally shelved as it was deemed too dangerous in light of the high levels of radiation, but following the rising heat of the reactor the government decided the water drop by the helicopters would be the best way to deal with climbing hydrogen levels.

The GSDF Ch-47 helicopters can carry up to 7.5 tons of water and have also started dumping water on the No. 4 reactor as well.

Meanwhile, a Tokyo police unit is primed to use a water cannon truck to cool down a spent fuel rod pool in the No. 4 reactor at the quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The police announced that the ground operation will involve spraying water from outside of the reactor and is due to start on Thursday morning.

Following Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, the temperature has been rising in the building that housing the No. 4 reactor and its spent fuel storage pool, as cooling systems failed.

The building was rocked by a hydrogen explosion on Tuesday as well as a fire early on Wednesday adding to complications and raising concerns the fuel rods will melt and release radiation.

The police will aim their high pressure cannons at a hole in the wall of the damaged No. 4 reactor housing structure to target the fuel storage pool.

Source: Xinhua

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