Friday Must Read: Japan Asks US for Help with Nuclear Crisis; Still No Radiation Threat to California

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Japanese officials asked the United States for help in dealing with its worsening nuclear power plant crisis as engineers struggled to keep dangerously exposed fuel rods from melting down, AP reports. The New York Times reports that Japanese officials also raised the threat level posed by the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and planned to import boron from South Korea, a chemical that can slow a radioactive meltdown. Officials apparently plan to mix boron with the water being sprayed on the heavily damaged nuclear reactors and nearly evaporated cooling ponds.

2. US health officials, meanwhile, continued to try to reassure anxious West Coast residents, saying the Japanese nuclear crisis poses no health threat, the Chron reports. Health officials also disputed a computer model that predicted a radioactive plume was heading across the Pacific and could hit the West Coast today, the Mercury News reports. Experts continue to say there is no threat of radiation poisoning here unless there’s a catastrophic explosion in Japan that sends heavy amounts of radioactive matter into the jet stream.

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