The situation on the Fukushima nuclear plant is far from calming down, even after the government authorized water being dropped from helicopters, an option which was described as unnacceptable. It is even more unclear what the effect of that water will be, as helicopters threw it without hovering, presumably because of the radiation.

Also, this is a good example of why this method is rarely used: it doesn’t seem to work. The 60 tonnes of seawater seem to have pretty much missed their target, if not entirely, than a quite significant quantity; however, without hard evidence from the ground, video footage is the only way to figure this out, so my guess or yours is just as good as anybody’s on this matter.

The water wasn’t in fact meant to cool the reactors, as reported from many sources, but rather to cool the cooling pools. Without sufficient water, there is a growing chance of releasing radiation into the atmosphere, and the presence of radiation makes it even more hard to contain, because workers cannot be nearby.

“If this is damaged – and we suspect it must be – you’ve got radionuclides being produced and going upwards because of the fire,” said Andrew Sherry, director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester. “[Without water] the immediate outlook is that the fire and the generation of hydrogen will continue, so we’ve got quite an unstable situation.”

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