Japan Nearly Done With Back-Up Power Line

It could restart plant's cooling system; Nikkei opens strong
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2011 7:23 PM CDT
In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the top part of the badly damaged No. 4 unit is seen.   (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)
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(Newser) – In Japan, this might qualify as good news on the nuclear front: The UN nuclear agency says the situation is "very serious" but that it hasn't gotten much worse over the last 24 hours, reports the Voice of America. And in another glimmer of hope, officials say they're close to finishing an emergency power line that could restart the Fukushima plant's cooling system, notes the BBC. Meanwhile, the Nikkei is booming at the open after G-7 action on the yen, reports MarketWatch.

The developments come as the top US nuclear official warned that it could take "weeks" to get the plant under control, reports the New York Times. Authorities were using everything from helicopters to water cannons today. Also, Aol News reports that US Customs officials at airports are screening passengers from Japan for radiation. Click to read that. (Read more Japan earthquake stories.)

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