Japan Nuclear Plant Solution: Bury It?

Crisis continues as authorities rush to cool reactors by any means necessary
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 18, 2011 6:25 AM CDT
Updated Mar 18, 2011 7:51 AM CDT
This satellite image taken Thursday March 17, 2011 provided by DigitalGlobe shows damage following an earthquake and tsunami to the Fukushima Dai Ichi, Power Plant, in Japan. Smoke can be seen rising...   (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)
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(Newser) – Japan is considering burying its troubled nuclear plant in sand and concrete—the same move made in Chernobyl 25 years ago, Reuters reports. “It is not impossible to encase the reactors in concrete. But our priority right now is to try and cool them down first,” said an official, as authorities work to restore power. Smoke has been rising from the No. 2 reactor at the plant, and authorities aren’t sure of the cause—though it may be linked to the explosion there Tuesday, notes the AP.

New damage has been discovered in the fuel pool at the plant’s No. 4 reactor, hampering cooling efforts to refill it with water (click for more on the alarming situation). US data-collecting flights suggest that radiation hasn’t expanded outside a 19-mile area—but Japan has raised its threat level from 4 to 5 out of 7, pointing to danger that extends beyond the local. The crisis could continue for weeks, said a US official. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post notes, authorities are using every cooling method available, from fire trucks to water cannons.

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