BBC, Nov. 8, 2013: [...] But visiting the plant, it struck me that in our obsession with reactor four we may be missing the real story at Fukushima. [...] As our bus left reactor four and drove along the sea front, I pointed my new monitor out of the window towards reactor building three. Suddenly the needle started to spike – 1,000 counts per second, then 2,000, 3,000, finally it went off the scale. There, outside the bus, just a few dozen meters away is the real dead zone, a place where it is still far too dangerous for anyone to go. No human has been inside reactor three since the disaster. To do so would be suicide. No-one knows when it will be possible to go in. When I asked the same experts how long it would be until reactors one, two and three could be dismantled, they shook their heads. When I asked them where they thought the melted reactor cores were, they shook their heads again. [Tepco] was happy to show us reactor four, but please do not ask what they intend to do with reactors one, two and three.
Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2013: [...] The locations and the condition of the melted fuel for these reactors remain a mystery. It apparently dropped to the containment vessels through the inner pressure vessels housing the reactor cores. [...] In addition, TEPCO has not determined the extent of damage to the pressure and containment vessels. [...] The road map for decommissioning work could drastically change depending on the conditions of the melted nuclear fuel and the damage to the containment vessels.
NHK, Nov. 6, 2013: TEPCO will also need to clear rods from pools at 3 other reactors in a worse state. [...] They have been hampered by intense radiation and problems like inflow of rainwater. They’re anticipating a bigger challenge in removing molten fuel from reactor containers. TEPCO hopes to start that stage in 2020. Workers are prevented by high radioactivity from fully studying the reactor interiors. [...] TEPCO officials are seeking international cooperation to develop a machine that can remove the molten fuel, an operation never tried before.
CNN, Nov. 8, 2013 (at :30 in): There are strict rules about we can and cannot film. But this is the part of the plant Tepco wants us to show, Reactor 4.
Published: November 8th, 2013 at 1:24 pm ET
- Kyodo: Tepco ‘reverses’ position — Admits Fukushima plant’s groundwater is contaminated with radioactive cesium — Wanted to dump it into Pacific Ocean June 3, 2013
- Japan Official: Fuel from Fukushima reactors is “melting down daily” — AP: No way of confirming melted fuel is at bottom of containment vessels — Tepco Adviser: “Schedule for decommissioning the plant is pure supposition” — The Economist: This is ‘Mission Impossible’ (VIDEO) February 8, 2015
- Nuclear Expert: I believe Fukushima fuel melted through at some reactors — “Gone beyond building and now it’s in bedrock?” (AUDIO) September 24, 2013
- Classified Interviews: Multiple Fukushima reactors were melting down on first day of crisis, hours after quake — Plant chief thinks ‘very serious’ blast at Unit 3 NOT from hydrogen — Professor: Nuclear explosion can’t be ruled out due to plutonium in MOX fuel — TEPCO employees wouldn’t get within 50 km of reactors (VIDEO) August 26, 2014
- Official: “Unfortunately, the fuel itself is exposed” at Fukushima — Scientist: Our tests show contamination isn’t going away… reactors are leaking out into ocean… there’s still a problem — PBS: Plume of water tainted with radiation is reaching to other side of Pacific (VIDEO) August 7, 2014