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Japan has resumed water cooling

18 march 2011, 12:10
Japan has resumed water cooling operations at a quake-hit nuclear plant Friday using a fleet of fire trucks, as workers racing against time to avert catastrophe ran a power supply cable to the site, AFP reports.

Tonnes of water are being used to douse fuel rods and prevent a calamitous radiation release at the Fukushima No.1 power station, which suffered critical damage in the massive earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan a week ago.

The trucks unleashed high-powered streams of water on the facility, located 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, NHK footage showed. A defence ministry official told AFP they were targeting the number three reactor.

Japan's military, the Self-Defence Forces (SDF), has deployed 11 trucks to the scene, while the Tokyo metropolitan fire department has sent 30 vehicles and 140 personnel to try to bring the situation under control, Kyodo reported.

The twin disasters knocked out the plant's reactor cooling systems, sparking a series of explosions and fires. Authorities have since raced to keep the fuel rods inside reactors and containment pools under water.

If they are exposed to air, they could degrade further and emit even more dangerous radioactive material.

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