Japan rules out choppers to cool down nuke reactor
TOKYO - The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant says it has scrapped a plan to use helicopters to pour water into a reactor whose overheating fuel storage unit was emitting radiation.
The storage pool, used to hold spent nuclear fuel rods, caught fire Tuesday in an alarming escalation of Japan's nuclear crisis. The blaze was extinguished but fears remain that water may boil away and the rods could be dangerously exposed.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Hajimi Motojuku said early Wednesday that helicopters were deemed impractical, but that other options were under consideration, including fire engines.
Officials are struggling to address the failure of safety systems at several of the plant's reactors after Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.