US asks Japan for data on nuclear crisis, offers aid

March 17, 2011 21:00

WASHINGTON - The United States would like more information from Japan on its nuclear crisis and does not expect harmful radiation from stricken Japanese reactors to reach US territory, officials said on Thursday.

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko said the United States was working to provide ideas and possibly equipment to help Japan cool its overheating Daiichi nuclear power plant about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

President Barack Obama, who is leaving for a trip to South America on Friday, stopped by the Japanese embassy in Washington to sign a condolence book and said his administration felt "great urgency" to help Japan.

The White House said Obama was confident that Japan was aware of the severity of the crisis it faced.

It is sending charter planes to evacuate US citizens from Japan and recommended its citizens stay further from the earthquake-shattered plant than the Japanese government has recommended, prompting concerns that the two allies differed on the seriousness of the situation.

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