Japan Intensifies Cooling Efforts for Nuclear Plant

16 March 2011 (Last Updated March 16th, 2011 18:30)

Japan has intensified its efforts to cool the nuclear reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At present, Japanese army CH-47 Chinook helicopters have been spraying tons of water on the No 3 and No 4 reactors in attempts to prevent a meltdown of fuel rods. The f

Japan has intensified its efforts to cool the nuclear reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

At present, Japanese army CH-47 Chinook helicopters have been spraying tons of water on the No 3 and No 4 reactors in attempts to prevent a meltdown of fuel rods.

The fuel rods kept in a pool of water, are a cause of concern as the pool is now said to be completely dry exposing the rods to the air that may cause more releases of radioactive material, according to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The rods had been taken out of the No 4 reactor for a maintenance overhaul before the earthquake.

The aircraft dumped four loads before leaving the site to minimise risk of exposure to radiation.

Japanese Government spokesman Yukio Edano told the BBC that nuclear experts are now assessing the effectiveness of the airdrop operation.

TEPCO hopes to restore the power supply to the plant needed for the cooling system and backup generators later today.