Radiation Releasing in Japan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 @ 10:03 AM gHale

Just a few short hours after finding the level of radioactivity at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had been decreasing, Japan’s nuclear crisis intensified today after authorities said a second reactor unit at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan may have ruptured and appeared to be releasing radioactive steam.

Japanese television showed what appeared to be steam rising from reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The break, at the No. 3 reactor unit, worsened the already perilous conditions at the plant, a day after officials said the containment vessel in the No. 2 reactor had also cracked.

Such were the radiation levels above the plant, moreover, that the Japanese military put off a plan to drop water from helicopters to lower temperatures in a pool containing spent fuel rods that was overheating dangerously. The operation would have meant flying a helicopter into steam rising from the plant with potentially high radiation levels.

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