"Japan Says 2nd Reactor May Have Ruptured With Radioactive Release"

"TOKYO — Japan's nuclear crisis intensified dramatically on Wednesday after the authorities announced that a second reactor unit at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan may have ruptured and appeared to be releasing radioactive steam.

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 highly unusual plan to dump water from helicopters — a tactic normally employed to combat forest fires — to lower temperatures in a pool containing spent fuel rods that was overheating dangerously."

Hiroko Tabuchi and Keith Bradsher report for the New York Times March 16, 2011.


"Last Defense at Troubled Reactors: 50 Japanese Workers" (New York Times)

"High Radiation Levels Force Japan To Abort Helicopter Mission At Plant" (Washington Post)

"All Workers Evacuated from Damaged Nuclear Plant" (ENS)

"Workers Briefly Evacuate Stricken Nuclear Plant" (MSNBC)


Source: NY Times, 03/16/2011