Nightly News | April 03, 2011
>>> government officials in japan said today it may take months before leaking radiation can be stopped at that crippled nuclear power plant . at the same time, the search for thousands still missing after last month's earthquake and tsunami has come to an end. nbc's lee cowan with the latest now from tokyo .
>> reporter: it is over. the massive search by air and by sea involving a huge presence of u.s. military personnel was officially suspended today after finding only a tiny fraction of the thousands of bodies who are still missing. but as one u.s. effort ends, another begins. more marines arrived in japan today , those specializing in nuclear emergency response. and they may have their hands full before they know t engineers at the crippled nuclear power plant revealed today that they don't have the equipment they need to monitor high levels of radiation, which casts doubt on just how accurate their measurements have been. it is especially unsettling given what they call highly radioactive water has been gushing into the pacific ocean . over the last 24 hours , engineers have tried everything to stop it including burying the crack in concrete. when that didn't work, they switched to a witch's brew of a chemical mixed with newspaper and saw dust, that they hope will swell and plug the pipes. the problem, the more fresh water pumped from barges into cooler reactors, the more radioactive water is expected to leak out, a cycle that will persist for months, experts now say, which makes finding a place to store it all that much more critical. just about everything is on the table, including the possibility of pumping that radioactive water into tankers. that creates a whole other set of problems. for starters, what to do with the contaminated cargo once it's on board. it's the kind ofeconda contamination that forced protesters into the streets of tokyo again today, demanding an end to nuclear power . the legacy of this disaster likely will be the coastline that has been erased and all the residents that will forever be missing. lee cowan, nbc news, tokyo .