Helicopters dump water to cool Japan n-plant (Lead)March 17th, 2011 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS
Tokyo, March 17 (IANS) Japanese military helicopters Thursday dumped tonnes of water over the stricken Fukushima plant to prevent a nuclear meltdown, as the toll in the March 11 devastating quake rose to over 5,000.
The catastrophic quake and ensuing tsunami have left 5,178 people dead. A total of 8,606 people were still unaccounted for till Thursday morning, the National Police Agency said.
The military’s CH-47 Chinook helicopters dumped four loads of water on reactors three and four at Fukushima, 220 km from Tokyo, at 9.48 a.m., BBC said.
The water dumping operation by the army came after the plant operator - the Tokyo Electric Power Co - failed in its efforts, Xinhua reported.
On Wednesday, the helicopters - capable of carrying up to 7.5 tonnes of water each - were forced to abort a similar operation amid concerns over high radiation levels.
Japanese government spokesman Yukio Edano said nuclear experts were investigating how effective the operation was.
A Tokyo police unit is also using a water cannon truck to cool down a spent fuel rod pool at the No.4 reactor at the quake-hit nuclear power plant.
The nuclear plant was rocked by a hydrogen explosion Tuesday as well as a fire Wednesday, raising concerns that the fuel rods will melt and release radiation.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukio Amano, is travelling to Japan to gather more information.
The US, Britain and France have advised their nationals currently living in Tokyo to consider leaving the area.
In areas badly hit by the tsunami, the chilly winter weather has added to the misery of survivors. Officials in Fukushima prefecture said evacuation centres lack basic necessities, including sufficient hot food.
About 450,000 people are staying in temporary shelters, many sleeping on the floors.
- Choppers pour water over Japan n-plant, 20 people irradiated (Evening Lead) - Mar 17, 2011
- Japan struggles to prevent n-meltdown, 20 people irradiated (Roundup) - Mar 18, 2011
- Choppers dump water over Japan n-plant, 20 people irradiated (Night Lead) - Mar 17, 2011
- Japan hikes n-plant alert level, IAEA calls it extremely serious (Evening Lead) - Mar 18, 2011
- Choppers dump water on Japan nuclear reactor - Mar 17, 2011
- Condition at Fukushima n-plant improving: Japan (Second Intro Roundup) - Mar 20, 2011
- Quake-hit Japan faces nuclear crisis, toll may cross 10,000 (Third Lead) - Mar 13, 2011
- Fresh blast in Japan n-plant; 2,000 more bodies found (Third Lead) - Mar 14, 2011
- Radiation levels high in food, Japan fights n-fallout (Roundup) - Mar 19, 2011
- Japanese Government criticizes nuke plant operator for lacking transparency - Mar 27, 2011
- Japan struggles to tame n-fallout, hikes alert level (Night Lead) - Mar 18, 2011
- Japan rocked by second nuclear explosion - Mar 14, 2011
- Japan "racing against time" to prevent nuclear disaster: IAEA - Mar 19, 2011
- Radiation on decline near reactor No.1 in Japan - Mar 18, 2011
- "Workers losing race to save quake-cum-tsunami hit Fukushima nuclear power plant": Expert - Mar 30, 2011
Tags: atomic energy agency, chilly winter weather, chinook helicopters, edano, electric power co, evacuation centres, government spokesman, international atomic energy, international atomic energy agency, international atomic energy agency iaea, military helicopters, national police agency, nuclear meltdown, nuclear power plant, radiation levels, tokyo electric, tokyo march, tokyo police, travelling to japan, water cannon