Admiral Robert Willard who will head the US Mission said "I have requested a force of about 450 radiological and consequence management experts to be available to us. They are on 'prepare to deploy' orders." The Admiral believes a joint American-Japanese effort could avert a serious meltdown within the six Fukushima nuclear reactors.
He wouldn't be drawn on the suggestion that Japan had been keeping information secret from the public but according to the New York Times, the US is up to date on its own information - they were sending out unmanned aircraft equipped with radiation-detection equipment and image monitors. About 17,000 US military personnel are helping the Japanese with the relief effort, but they have been ordered to stay outside an 80km radius of plant. The Japanese continue to operate a 20km exclusion zone.