Ethan A. Huff
May 18, 2011
The truth has finally come out, as officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) now admit that fuel in Reactor 1 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex melted just 16 hours after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the area on March 11, 2011. When asked why it took more than two months to reveal this critical information, TEPCO officials claim that a lack of data left the company unaware of the core’s true condition until only recently — and new reports indicate that other meltdowns could soon follow.
According to a recent report from The Mainichi Daily News (MDN) in Japan, TEPCO officials recently announced that, based on new data, water levels in the pressure vessel at Reactor 1 began to drop rapidly within just a few hours after losing power at 3:30 pm on March 11. By 7:30 pm, fuel was fully exposed, and by 9 pm, reactor core temperatures reached an astounding 2,800 degrees Celsius, or 5,072 degrees Fahrenheit. And by 6:50 am the next morning, a full meltdown occurred (http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news…).
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
So for all the time that electric power was out in multiple reactors, causing the cooling systems to fail, and during the months after it was widely known that water levels were consistently dropping in Reactor 4 due to leaks, TEPCO played the ignorance card, acting as though it had no idea how serious the situation at the plant actually was. Surely the company must know, even without access to a detailed analysis, that when cooling systems fail and fuel rods become fully exposed, a meltdown is sure to follow — even regular folks with no background in nuclear technology can put two-and-two together to figure that one out.
But apparently TEPCO thinks it can keep playing dumb, and that the world will simply believe whatever it says. This new revelation, however, proves that the company is greatly underestimating the fallout from the situation at best, and deliberately hiding the truth at worst. Either way, the situation is far more dire than we have all been led to believe.
“[TEPCO] could have assumed that when the loss of power made it impossible to cool down the reactor, it would soon lead to a meltdown of the core,” said Hiroaki Koide, professor of nuclear safety engineering at Kyoto University, to MDN. “TEPCO’s persistent explanation that the damage to the fuel had been limited turned out to be wrong.”
And shortly after the announcement about Reactor 1, The Telegraph reported that two more Fukushima reactors may soon suffer a meltdown as well. Efforts to cool fuel in Reactors 2 and 3 have failed, and experts say that if the reactors cores have not already melted, they soon will (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor…).