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March 12, 2011

Stratfor Claims That, Despite Previous Reports of Containment, Reactor Is Melting Down In Wake of Explosion

Horrible.

Mediaite is repeating this claim based on a report from Stratfor.

Contrary to preliminary reports, it appears that Fukushima, Japanís Dai-ichi plant, which suffered a huge explosion hours ago after operators lost control of its chain reactions, is experiencing a reactor meltdown. While its core is still reported to be intact, this could cause much more significant long-term damage than expected.

Stratfor notes a fuel meltdown (which is suspected) isn't the same as a core meltdown, a much bigger calamity:

A meltdown occurs when the control rods fail to contain the neutron emission and the heat levels inside the reactor thus rise to a point that the fuel itself melts, generally temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing uncontrolled radiation-generating reactions and making approaching the reactor incredibly hazardous. A meltdown does not necessarily mean a nuclear disaster. As long as the reactor core, which is specifically designed to contain high levels of heat, pressure and radiation, remains intact, the melted fuel can be dealt with. If the core breaches but the containment facility built around the core remains intact, the melted fuel can still be dealt with ó typically entombed within specialized concrete ó but the cost and difficulty of such containment increases exponentially.

With all breaking single-source reports, grain of salt.


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posted by Ace at 01:13 PM

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