Fukushima nuclear power stations
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Peter Lyons, who told a Senate committee that robots were being sent to Japan. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images The Obama administration is sending a squad of robots to Japan to help efforts to regain control over the Fukushima nuclear plant, it has emerged. "A shipment is being readied," Peter Lyons, who oversees nuclear power in the department of energy , told a Senate committee. "The government of Japan is very, very interested in the capabilities that could be brought to bear from this country." The news came amid growing fears about the status of the plant's No2 reactor, one of three which workers have been pumping water into in an effort to keep the fuel rods from melting down.
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The difficulty in bringing Japan's nuclear crisis under control has undoubtedly put a serious question mark over the entire issue of nuclear power. Even if it is as yet unclear how the Japanese nuclear emergency will play itself out, it is certain that the town of Fukushima in Japan, familiar hitherto only to a few, will enter the global nuclear lexicon alongside Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. The difficulty in bringing the nuclear crisis under control, a crisis precipitated by a series of accidents and failures while negotiating a safe shutdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power complex in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, has undoubtedly put a serious question mark over the entire issue of nuclear power. What drives home the gravity of the situation is that this nuclear emergency, we would have been told earlier, is one that would never happen.
Comparisons with other nuclear incidents
Timeline : Fukushima nuclear nightmare
I've been off-line for most of today, enjoying the company of friends. Back to the news. I do have another post on parallels between the Russian Revolution and events in the Middle East almost ready to go, but the situation in Japan is more immediate.
Closed captioning of: Meltdown fears at damaged nuclear reactor