US dispatches eight more nuclear experts to Japan

The members of the team left the US yesterday and were due to arrive in Tokyo today. This is in addition to the two experts sent earlier, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said.

The team is led by Charles A Casto, deputy regional administrator of the NRC's Center of Construction Inspection, based in NRC's office in Atlanta.

Casto has worked in the commercial nuclear power industry at three different nuclear power plants, including Browns Ferry, which has three boiling water reactors, operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority in Alabama.

According to the NRC, the team has been instructed to: conduct all activities needed to understand the status of efforts to safely shut down the Japanese reactors; better understand the potential impact on people and the environment of any radioactivity releases.

If asked, the team has been directed to provide technical advice and support through the US ambassador for the Japanese government's decision making process; and draw on NRC-headquarters expertise for any other additional technical requirements.

Hundreds of bodies were found scattered across the north-eastern coastline in Japan bringing alive the horror of Friday's massive earthquake of 9.0 magnitude and tsunami in which 10,000 people have been estimated to have perished.

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