Fukushima Meltdown Confirmed - by Stephen Lendman
On April 6, Reuters reported that "the core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel," Rep. Edward Markey told a House hearing on the disaster, saying:
"I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the core has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel."
Recklessly promoting nuclear proliferation, America's NRC is notorious for coverup and denial of its harmful effects. As a result, their rare admission virtually confirms a full core meltdown in one or more reactors, meaning vast amounts of radiation are being uncontrollably released into the atmosphere, water and soil, spreading over a vast area. It's the ultimate nightmare scenario now unfolding, but don't expect major media reports or government officials to explain.
Nonetheless, on April 6, New York Times writers Matthew Wald and Andrew Pollack headlined, "Core of Stricken Reactor Probably Leaked, US Says," stating:
America's NRC "said Wednesday that some of the core of a stricken Japanese reactor had probably leaked from its steel pressure vessel into the bottom of the containment structure, implying that the damage was even worse than previously thought."
Far worse, in fact, because molten core material then burns uncontrollably through the concrete foundation, meaning all bets are off.
On April 5, Times writers James Glanz and William Broad headlined, "US Sees Array of New Threats at Japan's Nuclear Plant," saying:
American engineers warned "that the troubled nuclear plant....is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential" NRC assessment.
Identified threats include:
-- Possible further explosions because of hydrogen and oxygen from seawater used to cool the reactors that may have done more harm than good. According to former GE reactor designer Margaret Harding:
"If I were in the Japanese's shoes, I'd be very reluctant to have tons and tons of water sitting in a containment whose structural integrity hasn't been checked since the earthquake," and very likely is seriously damaged.
-- Because of concern about severe reactor core damage, NRC recommended boron be added to cooling water as a moderator to absorb neutrons.
-- Exposed/unprotected spent fuel rods in Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 pose extreme dangers. Moreover, explosions blew nuclear material "up to one mile from the units" into the atmosphere, indicating much greater damage than previously disclosed.
As a result, David Lochbaum from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) believes:
"This paints a very different picture, and suggests that things are a lot worse. They could still have more damage in a big way if some of these things don't work out for them....They've got a lot of nasty things to (handle), and one missed step could make the situation much, much worse."