CBS: “The worst case scenario was happening” at Fukushima — Cores may have burned into earth, releasing untold amounts of radiation if not for sea water injection — You really won’t know what happened until you see inside, says NRC (VIDEO)

Published: March 17th, 2012 at 5:29 pm ET
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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)

See also: Analysis: Melted fuel completely penetrated concrete in under 15 hours at GE Mark I -- Shows little decline in speed (CHART)

Published: March 17th, 2012 at 5:29 pm ET
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23 comments

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