Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed
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Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed
by Stephen Lendman
Saturday May 14th, 2011 1:11 AM
Visual evidence now confirms what earlier was known: namely, that Tokyo Electric's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station experienced at least one core nuclear meltdown, perhaps much worse than now admitted.
An earlier article explained -
SteveLendmanBlog: Fukushima Meltdown Confirmed
FRIDAY, APRIL 08, 2011
On April 6, Reuters reported that 'the core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel,' Rep. Edward Markey told a House hearing on the disaster, saying:
'I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the core has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel.'
Recklessly promoting nuclear proliferation, America's NRC is notorious for coverup and denial of its harmful effects. As a result, their rare admission virtually confirms a full core meltdown in one or more reactors, meaning vast amounts of radiation are being uncontrollably released into the atmosphere, water and soil, spreading over a vast area. It's the ultimate nightmare scenario now unfolding, but don't expect major media reports or government officials to explain...
Nuclear expert Karl Grossman calls it the ultimate nuclear nightmare, a real time China Syndrome, portrayed fictionally in the 1979 film by the same name.
On May 12, Hiroshima Peace Institute Professor Robert Jacobs told Russia Today TV that plant conditions "are much more serious than we were told earlier."
In fact, confirming a coverup, he explained:
"We were not told that for a long time....I have a rule of thumb, which is that anything that is publicly stated is probably around 10 to 20% of what's true. It will take us years to know the extent of the contamination and the extent of the fuel melting. The best case scenario in this situation is that it will take months to begin to stop leaking radiation from the reactors."
As a result, plant conditions are extremely serious, perhaps out of control, but don't expect government or media reports to admit it. Short of that, on May 12, TEPCO said low water levels fully exposed Fukushima's Unit No. 1, grudgingly confirming a meltdown of nuclear fuel rods.
According to Junichi Matsumoto, TEPCO's general manager:
"The water level is one meter below the base of the fuel assembly....Melted fuel has dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is still being cooled...(Entombment) plans need to be revised. We can't deny the possibility that a hole in the pressure vessel caused water to leak."
Moreover, other fuel rods are also affected, AP saying:
"other fuel (melted) to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is thought (but not confirmed) to be covered in water....The findings also indicate a greater-than-expected leak in that vessel."
At issue is one or more core nuclear meltdowns, a worse case scenario. On May 12, London Telegraph writer Julian Ryall headlined, "Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima plant," saying:
Visual evidence confirms that "(one Fukushima reactor) did suffer a nuclear meltdown. (TEPCO admitted that) the top five feet or so of (Unit No. 1's) core 13ft-long fuel rods had been exposed to the air and melted down. Now (it appears likely) that the molten pool of radioactive fuel may have burned a hole through the bottom of the containment, causing" large amounts of contaminated water to leak, posing an extremely serious health hazard to many countries besides Japan.
Moreover, conditions appear to be worsening, not improving. According to Friends of the Earth spokesman Tom Clements:
"TEPCO seems to be going backwards in getting the situation under control and things may well be slowly eroding with all (six) units having problems. At this point, TEPCO still finds itself in unchartered waters and is not able to carry out any plan to get the situation under control..."
Latest NEI Updates
- Nuclear Energy Institute | UPDATE AS OF 1:30 P.M. EDT, FRIDAY, MAY 13:
Below is a round-up of noteworthy news that happened this week with regard to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the U.S. nuclear industry's response.
from "Plant Status" -
Japan's nuclear safety agency has suggested that significant damage to fuel at Fukushima Daiichi 1 means that filling the reactor containment vessel with water may be meaningless. The agency’s Hidehiko Nishiyama said on Friday that melted fuel rods at the bottom of reactor 1 are being cooled by a small amount of water. He said he doubts that it is necessary to flood the containment vessel entirely, as workers have been trying to do. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said on Thursday that most of the fuel rods in the reactor are believed to be damaged and are at the bottom of the reactor's pressure vessel. Based on the temperature of the reactor vessel surface temperature, the company says the fuel apparently has cooled.
TEPCO announced this week delays in its schedule to contain the reactors. The company noted that while its work to restore reactor 1 is in progress, it had not begun these measures at the other reactors at the sites. It said that high levels of radiation in the reactor 1 building could force a change in plans.
Close-up underwater footage of Fukushima reactor spent fuel pool in debris
TEPCO released a video this week of the reactor 3 spent fuel pool that shows debris and other material atop fuel racks in the pool. To see the video, [above] for TEPCO’s Japanese-language website. A video of the reactor 4 spent fuel pool showed no debris.
The Japanese government plans to advise schools near the Fukushima facility that burying soil contaminated by radiation reduces its radiation level. The government said that burying topsoil 20 inches underground reduced its radiation level by 90 percent.
Chubu Electric Power Co. has agreed to the Japanese government’s request to shut down reactors at its Hamaoka nuclear power plant, about 200 miles southwest of Tokyo. The government had asked Chubu to implement safeguards against possible earthquakes and tsunamis. The company began shutdown of Hamaoka 4 on Friday...
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