Washington, March 16 (DPA) The US is sending a second team of nuclear experts to help Japanese authorities respond to the threat posed by a nuclear power plant severely damaged by the massive earthquake, a senior official said Tuesday.
US Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu said a 34-member team and equipment that can measure radiation levels in the air was sent upon receiving Japan’s request for assistance.
“These teams have the skills, expertise and equipment to help assess, survey, monitor and sample areas,” Chu said, adding the US will remain in close contract with the Japanese in case additional assistance is needed.
The US had already sent a pair of experts from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to help with the crisis, as part of the initial wave of help sent by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Japanese authorities are racing to contain the damage at the Fukashima nuclear plant in the northeastern part of the country. The plant has leaked radiation following Friday’s earthquake, but of greater concern is a possible meltdown of the reactor’s core if it cannot be sufficiently cooled.