Reactor 1 in worse shape than thought
Cracks suspected in containment after fuel rods found fully exposed
By KAZUAKI NAGATA
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday that the water level in the No. 1 reactor's pressure vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant is much lower than thought and that some of the fuel rods have melted and sunk to its bottom.
But Tepco also said the temperature in the pressure vessel has been kept at around 100 to 120 degrees, which is cool enough to keep the reactor safe, for now. The low water level, however, indicates that the pressure vessel could have holes or cracks through which radioactive water is leaking.
Tepco's latest discoveries were found after workers entered the main building, where they were finally able to check and fix water-level indicators damaged when the March 11 monster earthquake and tsunami crippled the nuclear power plant.
The workers also learned that the water in the containment vessel, which Tepco has kept spraying to cool down the pressure vessel from the outside, is also much lower than earlier believed. There might be some holes or cracks in the vessel or components connected to it, Tepco said.
Any holes or cracks in the pressure and containment vessels are sure to make repair work more difficult. The utility plans to keep cooling the reactor's core by attaching air-cooling machines that will recirculate the water inside the containment vessel.
Tepco has poured about 10,000 cu. meters of water into the containment vessel so far. But only about 7,500 cu. meters should be necessary to cool the fuel rods if a way can be found to reuse the water instead of letting it flow away.
"We're not sure how much of the fuel rods fell down to the bottom and in what form, but the temperature shows that they are being cooled," Tepco spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said at a news conference.
Fukushima released twice as much radiation as was initially disclosed.
Now we find that three reactors melted throught the containment vessel and released twice as much radiation as we were initially told, nearly a GIGA Becquerel (They are claiming 770,000 Tera Becquerels, almost certainly another whitewash lie). Remember when they said their instruments weren't reading correctly? They were correct readings, but TEPCO had to lie, again. The Japanese government is no better, and neither is ours. So that leaves us on our own, sifting through the pack of lies to ascertain how to protect ourselves. This is criminal activity by governments against their own citizens. We need a worldwide revolution in thought.