Title: U.S. nuclear expert recounts Fukushima disaster
Source: CBS News
Date: March 16, 2012
[...] One of the experts sent into the emergency is Charles Casto. He’s a former nuclear plant operator working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He was America’s top expert at the scene [...]
Casto’s team reported to Washington in this conference call one year ago Friday: “At this point I would see the worse case scenario is three reactors that eventually having, for lack of a better term, a meltdown. So the reactors would likely, eventually, you would eventually breach primary containment and have some kind of release.”
The worst case scenario was happening. [...]
“What in your estimation was the key moment that prevented this from becoming a much greater tragedy than it was?” Pelley asked Casto.
“When Yoshida-san put ocean water to the reactors, that was a key moment.”
“Did everyone agree that flooding them with sea water was the right thing to do?” asked Pelley.
“Not everyone agreed,” said Casto. [...]
Had he not, we now know the cores may have burned all the way into earth, releasing untold amounts of radiation.
“You really won’t know until you get in there and can get a video camera or some device in there to know what really happened,” said Casto.
“How long would that be?” Pelley asked.
“It could take years to understand exactly what happened.”
Today Fukushima is in a safe condition called “cold shutdown.” [...]
More from Casto: Top US Nuke Official: Melted core penetrates concrete at 2 inches per hour -- No doubt containment is lost during blackout -- Manual tells you everything except how to stop it -- Mark I worst of all (AUDIO)
Published: March 17th, 2012 at 5:29 pm ET
- Kyoto Professor: Areas in Reactor No. 2 may be over 100°C — Fuel probably as melted as mud, increasing water injection may move it around — Can’t see inside for decades (VIDEO) February 8, 2012
- NRC official tells Japan: We don’t understand what’s going on in Fukushima reactors — “You can’t make a solid estimate until you know what the level of damage is inside” (VIDEO) December 22, 2011
- TEPCO: Water level data from Reactors No. 2 and 3 “may not be credible” after what happened at No. 1 May 12, 2011
- 82°C at Reactor No. 2 — Keeps rising even after injection of more water — Tepco “set to dump in boric acid” February 12, 2012
- Kyodo: Sharp drop in water at Fukushima Reactors No. 1-3 — “Below level regarded as necessary to keep fuel inside cool” August 30, 2012