"Workers In Japan Seeing Success In Cooling Reactors"

"After a week of disasters and setbacks, power plant workers and military personnel at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant made some progress today in cooling over-heated fuel rods.

On Friday, U.S. officials warned those rods posed the most urgent danger of radiation leakage into the environment because the water that is supposed to cover them – keeping them cool and shielding their radiation – had largely drained away.

Unlike the nuclear fuel inside the plant's reactors, the rods in the storage pools are not walled off by containment vessels, and the buildings they're in have been heavily damaged by explosions and fires. That allows radioactive gases to escape directly into the environment."

NPR had the story from staff and Wires March 20, 2011.

Source: NPR, 03/20/2011