Nuclear fuel at Fukushima No. 1 unit melted after full exposure, TEPCO admits

The Mainichi Daily News reported on Thursday, May 12 that water inside the troubled No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was at an unexpectedly low level, not enough to cover the nuclear fuel, hinting that a large part of the fuel melted after being fully exposed, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday based on data obtained by adjusted gauges.

But the plant operator said the water at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel holding the fuel is keeping the melted fuel cool, assuring that the company is succeeding in preventing the reactor's fuel from overheating by injecting water from outside.

The utility had earlier estimated that 55 percent of the reactor core at the No. 1 unit has been damaged. It is unknown how much fuel melted and dropped to the bottom, but the fuel is unlikely to be at its original position.

The latest finding on the situation inside the unit--one of the six at the plant crippled by the March 11 massive quake and tsunami--suggests that a significant amount of the water injected into the reactor core to keep the fuel cool as an emergency measure was leaking out to the primary container.

A TEPCO official said the company will review its plan to flood the primary container up to the lever above the fuel.

The above is an excerpt from the article. To be honest, who and what can we really believe? Are they sure of getting somewhere?



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