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Bad News Open Thread: "No.1 reactor is in a 'meltdown' state"

This was just posted at Dkos

There is no more information other than a link to the following bulletin:…

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is believed to be in a state of “meltdown”.

The utility company said on Thursday that most of the fuel rods are likely to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the reactor. Earlier in the day, it found that the coolant water in the reactor is at a level which would completely expose nuclear fuel rods if they were in their normal position.

The company believes the melted fuel has cooled down, judging from the reactor’s surface temperature.

But it suspects the meltdown created a hole or holes in the bottom of the reactor causing water to leak into the containment vessel.

It also suspects the water is leaking into the reactor building.

The company is planning to fully fill the containment vessel with water by increasing the amount injected.

The company says, however, it must review the plan in light of the latest finding.

Friday, May 13, 2011 05:21 +0900 (JST)


  1. HappyinVT

    I’ve heard problems with 3 and 4 in particular but No. 1 never seemed to be on my radar, anyway.

  2. Shaun Appleby

    There is every indication reactor No 1 has been in this condition since the beginning.

    Just because Fukushima has avoided headlines for a month doesn’t mean it isn’t an intractable problem.  The options for dealing with all three active reactors are unattractive, at best, and provide challenges beyond those of the Chernobyl site.  And each crippled core creates dilemmas for dealing with the other immediate reactors, none of which are truly “stabilised.”

    As I have mentioned elsewhere the most likely short-term outcome is to see a review and increase of permissible radiation levels for exposure, food and water; certainly within Japan and probably elsewhere as the full ramifications become apparent.  But the long-term economic implications for Japan are still potentially devestating.

  3. spacemanspiff

    I was arguing with my dad about nuclear energy. I never had a real opinion on it until Japan happened. After thinking it through I decided I am against nuclear power. My dad was telling me how it was an isolated incident, etc. But the thing I kept telling him is that it happened. So that argument about it being safe goes out the window. This is in its infant stages and the long term ramifications are just as important as the immediate effects. What a disaster.

  4. DeniseVelez

    I have tried to understand the news, and more in-depth articles but my brain just won’t absorb the details, other than to go into warning mode.

    I know that our news consumption can’t sustain long term following of any news other than the disappearance of Natalie Holloway and other such stories – but I find it odd that when I tried to look for other stories – or updates I didn’t find much at all.  

    I figured someone here could grasp this and make more sense of it – or at least dismiss this as alarmist.  I went to bed.

    When I got up to let the dogs out I saw this from the NY times:

    Japanese Reactor Damage Is Worse Than Expected

    “We are not seeing a China Syndrome,” Mr. Matsumoto said, using a term coined in the United States in the 1970s to describe a severe nuclear meltdown of the fuel, which could sink into the ground and cause an explosion. The term is a satiric reference to the idea that in such an uncontrolled reaction, the core could burn through the earth.

    David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit group usually critical of the nuclear industry, agreed that the temperature readings were a good sign.

    He said he believed that the damage to the fuel at Reactor No. 1 was already finished, and that even if some fuel rods were still standing – and therefore exposed – they were no longer hot enough to keep melting. “As bad as things are,” Mr. Lochbaum said, “they’re getting better.”

    He cautioned that dangers remain. Conditions could get worse, he said, if the continued addition of water creates conditions more conducive to a nuclear reaction.

    Sorry – but I am now more confused than ever.

    And there was a video:

    I now wish I had paid more attention in science classes.

    I live above Indian Point.

    Could Rupture of Aging Pipeline Ignite Nuclear Plant’s Control Room?

    It is often discussed on my local news – and yes – I get worried. So do my neighbors.

  5. Shaun Appleby

    Quick, somebody do a diary, this is better than the circus:

    The man behind the camera tracking tea party candidate Jack Davis is a member of Assemblywoman Jane Corwin’s staff, according to the chairman of the Erie County Republican Party.

    Buffalo’s WBEN reports that chairman Nick Langworthy would not identify the man, but bloggers are pointing the finger at Corwin’s chief of staff, Michael Mallia.

    “It was after hours in a capacity for the Republican Party,” Langworthy said, declining to reveal the tracker’s identity.

    Permitting Corwin’s top legislative aide to confront and goad Davis raises larger questions about the strategic thinking and foresight of the GOP nominee’s camp in the special election for a New York House seat.

    Why would the Corwin campaign allow a top staffer with ties to candidate — rather than a college student or unaffiliated GOP volunteer — to confront and provoke Davis?

    Davic Catanese – The tracker was a Corwin staffer Politico 12 May 11

    Not just a staffer, but allegedly her chief of staff.  We listen to Republicans too much.  Watching them in action is more fun.

  6. spacemanspiff

    How Twitter helped doctors during the Japanese disaster.

    The pair explain the earthquake made it difficult to ensure a continuous supply of drugs for their patients suffering chronic diseases such as pulmonary hypertension. With phone lines unreliable but internet connections still working, they turned to Twitter to help inform people where to get their medicine.

    Tamura set up an account, @ut1tamura, three days after the disaster and tweeted information from his hospital computer, providing messages in Japanese such as “Patient can get the orphan drugs for pulmonary hypertension in XX hospital” or “Patient should keep additional oxygen tanks preparing for electrical power interruption, and can get tanks by XX”.

  7. fogiv

    the left of the left can (and often will) be every bit as obtuse and reality challenged as the right of the right.

    sometimes I wonder why I bother to engage at GOS. I’ll never learn.

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