Desperation in Fukushima is growing as one by one the remaining options to prevent the "recriticlaity" of reactor 4 slide away. After the idea floated earlier to pour water on the core in hopes of cooling was dashed following a fire which broke out about 2 hours earlier and technical difficulties associated with the actual implementation , the latest and probably last recourse proposed is to disperse boric acid - a radiation retardant - all over everything in a blind "shotgun" strategy. How that will do anything to prevent the nuclear fall out from the containment bed which is now supposedly exposed to the open air, remains a mystery. And another update from Kyodo: "Fuel rods damage at Fukushima's 2 reactors estimated at 70%, 33%"
Nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power said on Wednesday that it is considering dispersing boric acid, a fire retardant, over the Fukushima Daiichi plant's No. 4 reactor from a helicopter.
The plant operator also said a fire seen earlier in the day at the No.4 reactor was no longer visible.
The operator was responding to questions from reporters regarding reports that it was mulling dumping water on the No.4 reactor, which first caught fire on Tuesday, by helicopter.
And from Kyodo:
An estimated 70 percent of the nuclear fuel rods have been damaged at the troubled No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant and 33 percent at the No. 2 reactor, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday.
The reactors' cores are believed to have partially melted with their cooling functions lost after Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake rocked Fukushima Prefecture and other areas in northeastern and eastern Japan.
Around 5:45 a.m., a worker at the plant saw flames on the fourth floor of the building housing the No. 4 reactor, believed to be the same spot where an apparent hydrogen explosion caused a fire at 9:38 a.m. Tuesday. The reactor had been halted for regular checks from before the quake.
TEPCO said it had stopped fire-fighting operations after judging that the Tuesday morning fire had been extinguished. It said it promptly reported the latest incident to firefighters and local governments.
Flames were seen through the two square-shaped holes about 8 by 8 meters created in the walls of the building by Tuesday's 6:14 a.m. blast, but were no longer visible when workers at the plant tried to confirm them at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, the utility said.
On Tuesday, the utility said water in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods at the reactor may be boiling and that its level may have dropped, exposing the rods. The government ordered the firm to inject water into the pool ''as soon as possible to avert a major nuclear disaster.''