(NaturalNews) Recent reports confirming that Reactors 1, 2, and 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility completely melted just hours after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the area on March 11 (http://www.naturalnews.com/032537_F…) have been trumped by even worse news that those same reactors have all likely “melted through,” a situation that according to Japan’s Daily Yomiuri DY is “the worst possibility in a nuclear accident.”
A nuclear core meltdown involves nuclear fuel exceeding its melting point to the point where it damages the core, leaks out, and threatens to potentially release high levels of radiation into the environment. However, a nuclear melt-through is an even worse scenario, as nuclear fuel literally melts through the bottom of damaged reactor pressure vessels into out containment vessels — and possibly even melts through those outer vessels directly into ground, air, and water.
The report suggesting that melt-throughs have already occurred, which is set to be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is the “first official recognition” of this dire situation, according to DY. It also confirms early suspicions that such a scenario had been underway all along, as later reports confirmed that the epic disaster at the reactors had produced holes in come of the plant’s core containment vessels, and that radioactive water, and possibly even fuel, were leaking into the lower vessels.
IAEA has already stated that the Fukushima disaster is at least as bad as the Chernobyl disaster (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/glob…), but this new information now suggests that it is probably even worse. At this time, it is unknown whether the fuel that has accumulated in the outer containment vessels has seeped outside, where it has the potential to contaminate groundwater supplies and wreak widespread environmental damage.
In an interview conducted prior to the release of the new report, Ichiro Ozawa told the WSJ that areas around Fukushima were already becoming completely “uninhabitable.” He also suggested that as it currently stands, much of the rest of the country, including Tokyo, could suffer the same fate if nothing is done to properly and effectively contain the situation.
Sources for this story include:
Nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has possibly melted through pressure vessels and accumulated at the bottom of outer containment vessels, according to a government report obtained Tuesday by The Yomiuri Shimbun.
A “melt-through”–when melted nuclear fuel leaks from the bottom of damaged reactor pressure vessels into containment vessels–is far worse than a core meltdown and is the worst possibility in a nuclear accident.
The possibility of the situation at the plant’s Nos. 1 to 3 reactors was raised in a report that is to be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
If the report is released as is, it would be the first official recognition that a melt-through has occurred.
By YUKA HAYASHI and TOKO SEKIGUCHI
The following is a partial transcript from The Wall Street Journal Interview with Japan senior political figure Ichiro Ozawa, who is calling on Prime Minister Naoto Kan to step down. Ozawa is a long-time rival within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and is facing charges of improprieties over his fund-raising organization.
Q: If you had been in charge, would you have disclosed all the information about the meltdown in the initial stage?
A: Yes. I would have. There is no use in holding back information. We have to decide what to do, based on the premise of the information we have. This problem may be contained in Fukushima for now, but the contamination may spread outside of Fukushima. Anxiety and frustration are growing. People cannot live in the contaminated areas. These areas are becoming uninhabitable. Japan has lost its territory by that much. If we do nothing, even Tokyo could become off limits. There is a huge amount of uranium fuels in the plants, much more than in Chernobyl. This is a terrible situation. The government doesn’t tell the truth and people live in a happy-go-lucky…
Q: Mr. Kan seems to have turned to many people for advice. What seems to be the problem?
A: It’s not enough. Precisely, it’s meaningless to put together a team made up exclusively of people who depend on nuclear power to make a living. All of them are members of the nuclear mafia. Did you see all those scholars saying “the crisis is not so terrible,” “won’t harm the health at all” on TV? What they say is meaningless because they depend on nuclear power for their livelihood. But people, and the Japanese media, don’t understand it. The Japanese media is helpless.
Q: Reconstruction will require a lot of money and resources, and the Diet is currently debating the need for a second supplementary budget. What is the urgency and how large should this second reconstruction budget be? Where would funding come from?
A: That’s another typical Japanese way of thought. No matter how much money it takes it must be done. With all that happening you can’t live in Japan. Some day we may not be able to live in Japan. There is the possibility that the power plant can reach the state of criticality again. If it explodes, it’s a huge matter. Radiation is being leaked in order to keep the reactors from exploding. So, in this sense, it’s even worse than letting the power plant explode. Radiation is going to be flowing out for a long period of time. This is not a matter of money, but of life and death for the Japanese. If Japan cannot be saved, then the people of Japan are done for. We can always print money. Ultimately the people will have to bear the burden. Government must be determined to put a stop to radioactive pollution no matter what it takes, money or otherwise. The Japanese people must understand the situation. Bonds will have to be paid back, but if you can save lives with money, then so be it.