(HawaiiNewsNow) - Admiral Willard spoke from Camp Smith to reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference. He says U.S. personnel in Japan are closely monitoring radiation levels at the damaged nuclear power plants. American experts are working hand in hand with the Japanese, sharing ideas, information and equipment to help cool the reactors.
Willard says the worst thing possible would be to abandon the effort to keep those reactors covered with water.
We believe that that can't happen. That we must do everything required in order to keep water and cooling affecting these reactors. I would offer that based on the update that I received at about 2 a.m. this morning. I am cautiously optimistic that we are progressing in that regard.
Willard describes U.S. assistance to Japan as "growing and evolving". He talked about the voluntary departure of U.S. military dependents and family.
Service men and women are being kept in Japan to help, but the government is chartering flights to bring family members home if they want to leave. So far, those planes are not filling up.
Willard calls this one of the biggest natural and man made disasters we will face in our lifetime but predicted that, with international assistance, Japan will make a full recovery.