Japan puts top priority on nuclear plant’s No 3 reactor


TOKYO – Japan put its top priority on Wednesday on efforts to cool down a plutonium-fuelled nuclear reactor, attempting at one stage to water-bomb the facility without success amid fears that authorities were running out of options to avert disaster. The No.3 reactor is the only one of the quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant’s six reactor units to be powered with plutonium, which is far more hazardous to health than uranium, which is used to power the other five reactors.
High radiation levels had stopped a military helicopter from dumping water on the No.3 reactor, local media said. The plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power , declined to comment. It was not clear if the helicopter was trying to pour water on the reactor vessel or on an associated spent-fuel pool, a deep reservoir where spent nuclear fuel rods are kept.
Public broadcaster NHK said the water was for the spent-fuel pool.