Summary Update Of Japan's Nuclear Crisis - Last Ditch Attempt To Cool Reactor 4 Involves Police And A Water Cannon

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  • A helicopter was unable to drop water to cool the No.3 reactor at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in northeastern Japan probably because of the high radiation, Kyodo news agency said, quoting the defence minister.
  • Police will attempt to cool No.4 reactor's spent nuclear fuel pool using a water cannon, TV says.
  • Japan's top government spokesman says radiation levels around the complex are not at levels to cause an immediate health risk.
  • There is no evidence of a significant spread of radiation from Japan's crippled nuclear plants, the World Health Organisation says.
  • Operator says it is unable to resume work cooling the reactors due to radiation risk. Workers ordered to leave the plant were allowed back in after radiation levels fall. Operator says there were 180 workers on site as of 0230 GMT.
  • Operator of the nuclear power complex in northeastern Japan recorded the site's highest levels of radiation at the No.3 reactor on Wednesday.
  • Water is being poured into reactors No.5 and No.6 at the plant, the operating company says. Those two reactors had been shut down for scheduled maintenance.
  • Fire breaks out at reactor No.4 a day after a blast blew a hole in the building housing spent fuel rods. White smoke seen from No.3 reactor most likely to be steam from the water that is being poured to cool the rods.
  • No plan yet to extend evacuation zone near the facility, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.
  • Australia urges its citizens with non-essential roles to consider leaving Tokyo and the most damaged prefectures, and Turkey warns citizens against travelling to Japan. France urges nationals living in Tokyo to leave country or move south.
  • Radiation levels in Tokyo were 10 times normal at one point, but not a threat to human health, officials said.
  • Radiation levels in Ibaraki, north of Tokyo, 300 times normal level but well below hazardous levels, Kyodo says.
  • Fuel rods in the No.1 reactor were 70 percent damaged and rods in No.2 reactor were 33 percent damaged, Kyodo says.
  • Japan's benchmark Nikkei average closes 4.5 percent up on Wednesday after suffering its worst two-day rout since 1987. The index surged over 6 percent at one point.
  • Tens of thousands of people are still missing since Friday's quake and tsunami. About 850,000 households in the north without electricity in near-freezing weather. Death toll is expected to exceed 10,000.

And this is what desperation looks like:

Japanese police will attempt to cool the spent
nuclear fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear plant using a water cannon truck as early as Wednesday night,
NHK television said. Japanese military failed in its bid to pour
water from a helicopter on the No. 3 reactor in the same power plant,
whose high radiation levels have made it the top priority for the
operator of the battered nuclear power complex.

Bold indicates recent change, from Reuters