MITSURU OBE, PHRED DVORAK and REBECCA SMITH
The Wall Street Journal
May 13, 2011

One of the reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant likely suffered a substantial meltdown of its core, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday, offering a fresh assessment of the reactor that suggests it came closer than the operator had previously revealed to a catastrophic meltdown.

It is likely that the fuel rods that form the core of Reactor No. 1 had more than half melted in March, Tepco spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said Thursday. That assessment came after Tepco this week determined that both of the vessels that surround the reactor core may be damaged, leaking water that is supposed to be keeping the core cool.

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