Japan Floods Reactor with Sea Water to Avert Nuclear Meltdown

Japanese officials took the extraordinary step on Saturday of flooding a crippled nuclear reactor with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown, as the nation grappled simultaneously with its worst nuclear mishap and the aftermath of its largest recorded earthquake.

A radiation leak and explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Saturday prompted the government to expand an evacuation order to affect 170,000 people in the plant’s vicinity. And the plant’s operator issued an emergency notice early Sunday morning that a second reactor at the same aging plant was also experiencing critical failures of its cooling system and that rising pressure there risked a new explosion.

The government said radiation emanating from the first reactor appeared to be decreasing after the blast Saturday afternoon destroyed part of the facility, and they said that they had filled it with sea water to prevent full meltdown of the nuclear fuel.

Read the rest of the story: Japan Floods Nuclear Reactor Crippled by Quake in Effort to Avert Meltdown.

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