Japan nuclear crisis: Wednesday - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Japan nuclear crisis: Wednesday


ZAO, Japan (WKOW)-- For the first time, Japan is using helicopters to drop water on one of the nuclear reactors that's in partial meltdown.

At least four of the six reactors in the Fukushima complex were damaged by last week's earthquake and resulting tsunami.

And even as the small group of experts tries to prevent a full meltdown in Japan, their colleagues around the world are already learning from what's happened

A nuclear engineer at the University of Wisconsin says they may have underestimated the power of nature.

Click the camera icon to watch our report.

The White House is recommending that U.S. citizens stay 50 miles away from a stricken nuclear plant, not the 20-mile radius recommended by the Japanese.

The order comes after President Barack Obama met Wednesday with top advisers and the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. As late as Tuesday, the U.S. had not issued its own recommendations, advising citizens instead to follow the recommendations of the Japanese.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the move does not signal a lack of confidence in Japan. He says the NRC is using its own data and making its recommendation on how it would handle the incident if it happened in the U.S.

Carney says the White House consulted with the Japanese government before making the recommendation.

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