As the United States rushes technology and nuclear expert help to Japan,

the power plant crisis continues.

The operator of Japan's tsunami-crippled nuclear plant says it has almost completed a new power line that could restore electricity to the complex and solve the crisis that has threatened a meltdown.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Naoki Tsunoda said early Thursday the power line to Fukushima Dai-ichi is almost complete. Officials plan to try it "as soon as possible" but he could not say when.

The new line would revive electric-powered pumps, allowing the company to maintain a steady water supply to troubled reactors and spent fuel storage ponds, keeping them cool.

The nuclear crisis has triggered international alarm and partly overshadowed the human tragedy caused by Friday's earthquake and tsunami that pulverized Japan's northeastern coastline.

-Seattle PI.com