Tokyo: Japan’s nuclear crisis appeared to be spinning out of control on Wednesday after workers withdrew briefly from a stricken power plant because of surging radiation levels and a copter failed to drop water on the most troubled reactor.
In a sign of desperation, police will try to cool spent nuclear fuel at one of the facility’s reactors with water cannons, normally used to quell riots.
Early in the day, another fire broke out at the earthquake-crippled facility, which has sent low levels of radiation wafting into Tokyo in the past 24 hours, triggering fear in the capital and international alarm.
The government said radiation levels outside the plant’s gates were stable, but, in a sign of being overwhelmed, appealed to private companies to help deliver supplies totens of thousands of people evacuated from around the complex.
UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said the situation was very serious, while confirming that the core of three units at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor were damaged.