Helicopter missions halted for evaluation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Helicopter missions halted for evaluation


ZAO, Japan (AP) -- Japanese officials have suspended army helicopter flights that were dumping water on an overheated nuclear reactor while they evaluate whether the unusual effort has worked.

The helicopters were flying combat-style missions, each dumping about 2,000 gallons of seawater onto the stricken reactor in an attempt to cool it. Crews were flying missions of about 40 minutes each to limit their radiation exposure.

At the same reactor, soldiers sprayed 30 tons of water toward a pool where used fuel is stored, hoping to cool it and keep it from catching fire. Police failed in an earlier attempt to cool the pool with water cannons.

Crews have been laying a new cable to supply more reliable electricity to motors, valves and pumps needed to keep reactors cool.

The troubles at the nuclear complex began when last week's earthquake and tsunami knocked out power and destroyed backup generators needed for the reactors' cooling systems.

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