I’m no nuclear engineer…in fact my last only successful engineering project involved IKEA. But even I know this cannot be good:

On Thursday morning, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces started dumping water from a helicopter on reactor No. 3, making several passes. They planned to do the same for No. 4 sometime Thursday.

It does not seem comforting that they are planning to use a method on a nuclear reactor that you would use as a last ditch effort to put out a forest fire.  Also, our government seems pretty straight forward about assessing situations…not involving our government.

“They need to stop pulling out people — and step up with getting them back in the reactor to cool it. There is a recognition this is a suicide mission,” the unnamed U.S. official was quoted by ABC as saying.

The one bit of good news seems to be that authorities are on the verge of running a new power line to the power plant to assist in cooling the exposed fuel rods.

“If the restoration work is completed, we will be able to activate various electric pumps and pour water into reactors and pools for spent nuclear fuel,” a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant, told the AFP news agency.

So, a power line needs to be run to a power plant (note also the disturbing use of “if”). Right now we’ll all take the farce over the alternative.