‘Extensive if not complete’ meltdown of three Fukushima reactors just 16 hours after the earthquake: coverup?

May 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

ScienceInsider (published by Science magazine) reported Tuesday May 17 that “over the last week, a combination of robotic and human inspections has led to the conclusion that the fuel assemblies in units 1, 2, and 3 were completely exposed to the air for from over 6 hours to over 14 hours and that melting was extensive if not complete. Much of the fuel is now likely at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessels.”

Leading Tokyo-based newspaper Mainichi Daily News confirmed the story: “Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) admitted for the first time on May 15 that most of the fuel in one of its nuclear reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant had melted only about 16 hours after the March 11 earthquake.”

Coverup?

So was this a data problem (“TEPCO said it had only been able to start obtaining detailed data on the temperature and pressure in the reactor for analysis in early May,” Mainichi Daily News reported) — or a coverup?

Personally, I believe it was the latter. I learned about the meltdown of the three reactors from a source close to high-level officials in the U.S. Defense Dept. on March 14, and I stated here on March 15: “In one extreme Pentagon scenario, catastrophic meltdowns and megadeaths in Japan, according to a source.” (I described it as a “scenario” because I could not personally confirm the information.) Turns out my source was accurate about the meltdowns; I can only hope his information about the megadeaths in wrong.

Nuclear reactors in at least four countries have a similar vulnerability — Germany, France, Russia, and the U.S. (the Indian Point reactor especially) — he informed me tonight, according to the Pentagon. At issue: $100 dollar/barrel oil if they’re closed down.

Amara D. Angelica is Editor of KurzweilAI