Meltdown Confirmed and Updated: Crazed Expat Vlogger Vindicated

May 12, 2011

Since the beginning of the Fukushima crisis, anyone watching the media closely has realized that the news coming from TEPCO and the Japanese government has been confused, contradictory, evasive, therapeutically sterile, and inaccurate at best – and downright deceptive a good part of the time.

For relief, I’ve consistently turned to a small group of bloggers and vloggers who have been combing ┬áthe media to tease out clues to what is really happening behind the Fukushima webcam curtain.

If you haven’t heard one of playbacklapompe’s anguished, passionate, heavily accented rants, this one will show you why they’ve become a relished respite from the Orwellian wall of Tepco doublespeak. Here he’s ruefully taking credit for being right about what Tepco has denied for 2 months now. At least one, and maybe all, of the afflicted reactors, have gone into meltdown and containment breach. Proof that sometimes, you just can’t be paranoid enough.

The Telegraph confirms:

Engineers from the Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) entered the No.1 reactor at the end of last week for the first time and saw the top five feet or so of the core’s 13ft-long fuel rods had been exposed to the air and melted down.

Previously, Tepco believed that the core of the reactor was submerged in enough water to keep it stable and that only 55 per cent of the core had been damaged.

Now the company is worried that the molten pool of radioactive fuel may have burned a hole through the bottom of the containment vessel, causing water to leak.

“We will have to revise our plans,” said Junichi Matsumoto, a spokesman for Tepco. “We cannot deny the possibility that a hole in the pressure vessel caused water to leak”.

Experts confirmed that this means reactors 2 and 3, always thought to be even more severely damaged, have probably not been giving reliable readings either.

Japan Times:

Matsumoto also said that, considering the situation with the No. 1 reactor, the water level data from reactors 2 and 3 may not be credible.

Tadashi Narabayashi, a professor of reactor engineering at Hokkaido University, also said it is likely that the melted fuel rods are being cooled with coolant water at the bottom of the pressure vessel.

According to Narabayashi, the zirconium encasing the fuel rods becomes weak and brittle when it is fully exposed to oxygen and then covered with cold water again.

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