US admiral optimistic on Japan's nuclear danger

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March 18, 2011, 6:12 a.m. |

In this March 12, 2011 photo provided by GeoEye, Fukushima, Japan is shown. Japan's nuclear crisis intensified Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple reactor meltdowns and more than 180,000 people evacuated the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where fears spread over possible radioactive contamination. Nuclear plant operators were frantically trying to keep temperatures down in a series of nuclear reactors _ including one where officials feared a partial meltdown could be happening Sunday _ to prevent the disaster from growing worse. But hours after officials announced the latest dangers to face the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, including the possibility of a second explosion in two days, there were few details about what was being done to bring the situation under control.
© AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top officer overseeing U.S. military assistance to Japan says he is cautiously optimistic that Japan will avert a worst-case nuclear disaster by preventing a full meltdown of its crippled reactors. Navy Adm. Robert Willard told reporters at the Pentagon on March 18 evening that he has provided Japan with a "long list" of areas in which the U.S. military can provide assistance. He described that assistance as growing and evolving. He spoke from U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii.

Willard also said that 450 U.S. military radiological and disaster management experts are on standby in the U.S. for possible movement to Japan.

The admiral predicted that, with international help, Japan will achieve a full recovery from the multiple disasters that began with an earthquake, followed by a tsunami.
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