BERLIN, March 30 Japan has been offered German
remote-controlled robots to help clean up and repair damage at
its Fukushima nuclear reactors, which are leaking radiation
after being hit by an earthquake and tsunami.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered Japanese Prime
Minister Naoto Kan "to make available special radio-controlled
equipment from Germany that can be used for cleanup and repairs
of reactors," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.
Japan was considering the offer, the statement said on
Wednesday. A government spokesman could not immediately verify
which devices could be sent.
Operators are struggling to regain control of the damaged
Fukushima Daiichi reactors, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo,
where radiation continues to leak and health dangers may rise as
radioactive elements increasingly surface outside the buildings.
It could take weeks or months of work under extremely
dangerous conditions to re-start the cooling systems vital to
control the reactors and avert a disastrous total meltdown.
The United States has already agreed to send some
radiation-detecting robots to help explore the reactor cores and
spent fuel pools at the stricken nuclear complex.