Japanese and American experts are saying that under the best conditions, not only the situation may continue for months, but also the radioactive releases of steam could last for months. Currently, the plant is being cooled off by pumping seawater into the plant, which cools the reactor, and then the now-radioactive steam is released into the atmosphere. Even if the situation is taken under control now, this process may need to continue for months. One senior official put it, “under the best scenarios, this isn’t going to end anytime soon.”
http://www10.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/...r.html?_r=5&hp