“Most” of the fuel at Reactor No. 3 may have breached vessel after melting down twice

Published: August 8th, 2011 at 1:15 pm ET
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Report: Japan’s Fukushima reactor possibly melted twice, BNO News (Channel 6), August 8 2011:

According to a study, the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant might have suffered a second nuclear meltdown, Kyodo news agency reported Monday.

According to the study, which was conducted by nuclear safety expert Fumiya Tanabe, fuel inside one of the plant’s nuclear reactors might have breached the bottom of a pressure vessel after melting again.

The fuel is believed to have been kept cool at the bottom of the pressure vessel since a nuclear meltdown was confirmed, but the cooling method would need further review if most of the fuel at the No. 3 reactor has fallen into the containment vessel underneath the reactor, the study said. [...]

Study says nuclear fuel at Fukushima reactor possibly melted twice, Kyodo News, August 8, 2011:

Study by Fumiya Tanabe, expert in nuclear safety

  • Melted fuel “was believed to have been kept cool at the bottom of the pressure vessel”.
  • Melted fuel “has possibly breached the vessel after melting again at the bottom of the vessel”.
  • “Most of the fuel at the No. 3 reactor may have fallen into the containment vessel underneath”.

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Published: August 8th, 2011 at 1:15 pm ET
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Related Posts

  1. Kyodo: “Unit 3 MOX likely melted through” — Mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel may have “dribbled” out after melting again August 9, 2011
  2. Japan nuclear expert: Massive “re-melting” occurred at Reactor No. 3 (DIAGRAM) August 8, 2011
  3. Melted fuel in Reactor No. 3 appears to have burned through pressure vessel — Loaded with rods containing plutonium May 18, 2011
  4. Japan nuke expert: I presume melted fuel reacted violently with cement at Reactor No. 3, releasing large amounts of radioactive materials outside — TEPCO responds August 9, 2011
  5. TEPCO says “sharp rise” in temperature at reactor No. 3, up 70ºF in a day — Japanese media: Is it due to the melting of nuclear fuel? May 8, 2011

28 comments to “Most” of the fuel at Reactor No. 3 may have breached vessel after melting down twice

  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno@yahoo.com

    This is another disinformation piece. The corium of R3 has probably never stopped “melting”. It’s not ice. If it’s still in a cohesive enough mass, the best that can be done is that the EXTERIOR ONLY of the corium can be cooled. The interior is still fissioning, which is why when the fuel WAS still in rods they have plates of boron in between every few inches of fuel pellets to be deployed in seconds, usually, to cease neutrons from cascading in criticality. This is NOT POSSIBLE with a corium mass. More layers of lavender. Absolute BS.


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  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno@yahoo.com

    The vessel breach is old news.


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  • If a second melt was, first was not complete, possiblely cause or lack of coolent, it had a longer distance to fall to reach the first corium in it’s burn !


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  • odylan

    Is this second meltdown they have just discovered what we have been referring to here (for some quite time) as the “melt-through” as it was suitably termed a couple of months ago (it seems that long) by Arnie?


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  • nohobear nohobear

    I suppose it’s good that this is coming out, but it’s kind of old news for us on enenews. Sadly, most media will not pick it up and disseminate it.

    Is there not ONE, JUST ONE fricking news organization in the entire world that can muscle in there,shine the spotlight on TEPCO and the Japanese government, and expose what’s going on now in AUGUST!!! What happened to the competition among news organizations to get the scoop over the competition? Don’t answer, it was just a rhetorical question. Investigative journalism died quite some time ago, to keep the sheeple under control in the new corporate world order.


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    • odylan

      nohobear, RT’s Sean Thomas is doing a sterling job. But he is alone. Enter ‘Fukushima’ in the RT YouTube page searchbox. I think it’s one reason why they are the first mainstream news channel with 500,000,000 clicks.


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    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno@yahoo.com

      Dear Nohobear: No, there is none. We’re living in deeply fascist times. There may be some analysis going on in media of other languages. Unfortunately, I don’t read German, I suspect that there is some good analysis going on there and perhaps in the Swedish or Norwegian presses or at the academic levels. The U.S. forth column has always been filled with cowards, for the most part and now they only ever hire cowards or those that will never be allowed wide distribution access by the very few information gate holders–there are far fewer gatekeepers of far more despotic character, than before the internet came about. The entire U.S. English language media, broadcast, as well as most print and that includes online, is owned by only five corporations now. It was more than 50 owners about 25 years ago.


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      • lam335 lam335

        re: “The entire U.S. English language media, broadcast, as well as most print and that includes online, is owned by only five corporations now.”

        General Electric, creator of FUK’s boiling water reactors, owns NBC-Universal (including MSNBC). In addition, CBS is the parent-company of Westinghouse, another nuclear energy provider.


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  • odylan

    They are clearly getting worried now because of the unfolding SHTF scenario. They are now trying for scientific respectability. Too late! Busby has already been there and told sick people to send hair samples for analysis with a view to civil actions for millions in compensation.


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  • Darth

    It’s another wannabe hoping to get a job and suck on the criminal government tit.

    All in the know – know that GE provides failure simulation software that accurately predict any failure modes you key into the computer. All the insiders know this thing was burnt toast within a few hours of losing cooling. This latest “analysis” is just crap.


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    • Misitu

      Am still trying to get head round concept that the Risk Assessment for Daiichi (and other multiple reactor sites) contains an appendix covering multiple LOCAs… making it up offline as it were to see how it might match what actually happened…


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  • SteveMT

    Broken record: No mention of MOX or plutonium in this story.

    Also broken record: poor, incomplete reporting.


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  • Hey Pallas, I don’t know as much about the technology as you but clearly news always gets worse as time goes on. Part of the problem isn’t it? average folk like me don’t know anything about nuclear technology and a proper news story of this situation would read like a technical university essay and take up the whole news hour. Most people would tune out.

    My worry is that while many of us (me included ) have criticized Tepco’s perceived inaction compared to Chernobyl, maybe the situation is so bad they really are doing everything they can to control the meltdown. Its just the situation is unprecedented in nuclear history. I’m sure Areva water purification system was never designed to do what its doing now etc etc. They can’t bury it like Chernobyl cause if they could they would. Cheaper then maintaining all this cooling equipment I think. Relatively easy for Russia to evacuate even large cities compared to Japan they have so much land. So poor Japanese stuck in Tokyo eating radio-active food.

    But for sure Tepco isn’t telling the full story. Just buying time until full impact of disaster manifests itself. Might destroy Japan as we know it if they fail to control whatever mess they have.

    My other concern is how obvious it is that Canada USA British and other governments (all with finger in nuclear pie) seem to be in collusion with Tepco in terms of downplaying disaster. A cloud of radiation blew over me and my government did nothing. I’m pissed. Forget about global warming and carbon footprint. Radiation is nasty shit you cant see or smell. At least you can move upwind of a dirty smokestack. Have to buy a Geiger counter just to know everything is all right or not, government abdicating duty.

    Clearly it is not country against country anymore but shady privileged power brokers vs everybody else. Very selfish idiots in power just hoping we won’t get hip to the stupidity of their nuclear toys.


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    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno@yahoo.com

      Dear Mark:

      I’m no expert; but I’ve read and keep reading more about nuclear power, it’s accidents, and about Chernobyl to learn more about this present crisis. I recommend researching nuclear power, Plutonium, spent fuel pools, standard cooling procedures for nuclear fuel, criticity (prompt or accidental criticality), neutron cascades in the fissioning process, and whatever other topics that seem important or fundamental in this. Nuclear power is very complex; but there are bottom lines. Never give up. Study primary sources, such as peer-reviewed and science based always about specifics and high quality secondary sources, including testimonials of nuclear power plant operators about the specifics you have a personal interest or even passion in related to this topic. Study Chernobyl very deeply.

      “Best that they can” does not apply to corporations. They and governments that always serve them more than the people will in such an extreme crisis, will primarily and distractingly focus on covering their asses, in terms of liability. They are NOT doing the best that they CAN do. They can spend every penny they have by liquidating assets, where possible, and by tapping into financial instruments to help pay for doing the right thing. The right thing, which is always possible, is full transparency. The right thing is inviting all the world to help solve this immediately. There are 7B humans on the planet. That’s plenty of brain power to solve this crisis. The problem with the status quo is that it is not transparent and it started out that way. The culture of nuclear power is the most fascist and FUBAR form of martial corporativism ruled by an insufficient titular clique from the top down. This does not work in such a crisis. How are the most difficult crises solved in a community of humans? By one or two individuals or by the community? This crisis is no different. Full transparency would have produced the correct changes to deal with this cataclysm in a truly “best WE can do way”, “THEY do not care about the best WE can do.”, they, nuclear corporations and governments serving the wealthy controlling these, only care about their own meta-interests. Our meta-interests, for long-term health are not part of their picture. I guarantee you that. There is nothing inevitable at all about the lack of appropriate DEMOCRATIZING measures in this cataclysm. The entire world human community must be fixing this right now and this is not happening. The result, guaranteed, is further nuclear explosions and, eventually, other ageing nuclear reactors also melting down. The status quo governments have little economic interest in correcting these problems. It is not PROFITABLE. Corporativism, the system, which is in place and NOT dealing with this cataclysm, is bottom line concerned with MONEY. This, on a continuum, of motivating factors for problem resolution, is absolutely irrelevent in this case. The inevitable conclusion of such a cataclysm is extinction. Money or doing the right thing; should not be part of the mix of appropriate thoughts in this crisis. Not to mention the 100,000,000 (est. with only 1.7M catalogued) non-human species in our FINITE ecosystem who are losing as a result of our incredible stupidity in allowing the most sociopathic, the greediest, to be in charge of NOT dealing with this crisis. I don’t know why it’s so clear to me and not to most others.


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  • Be Still My Beating Heart

    ‘My other concern is how obvious it is that Canada USA British and other governments (all with finger in nuclear pie) seem to be in collusion with Tepco in terms of downplaying disaster.’
    Don’t forget, The US is very active in moving it’s military about the mainland at present and has its own Underwater Nuclear Disaster happening in the back yard that they need to keep hush hush, – soooo I think they are a bit ‘busy’…
    And we know they don’t really care.


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  • We don’t need another Fukushima. Obama is friend of nuclear industry. We’ve been sold a bill of goods that Nuclear is green. I think its worse of all of mans nasty technologies.


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    • Wreedles Wreedles

      Nuclear industry, as currently practiced on this poor suffering planet, is anti-life. Any entity who tries to sell anti-life as a ‘green’ industry… Well, it tells me everything I need to know about them.


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  • CB CB

    Whats the scoop with America back yard?


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    • Be Still My Beating Heart

      Underwater Nuclear Disaster Underway in Midwest?
      Jun 23, 2011: Since the start of June, two nuclear power plants located on the banks of the massively flooded Missouri River in Nebraska have experienced “unusual events”. The Fort Calhoun nuclear plant 19 miles north of Omaha is on alert due to multiple reasons, being a fire that caused temporary loss of cooling a little over two weeks ago [1] as well as the flooding of the facility that has been worsening throughout June (much of the Fort Calhoun plant is currently underwater). Also, an “unusual event” at Cooper nuclear plant 80 miles south of Omaha caused an alert on June 19th [2] and the water levels only need to rise less than two and a half feet for this plant to also be underwater. From a report on June 15th relative to the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant [emphasis added throughout]:
      … the power station is starting to flood, and as was the case with the Fukushima sea wall, money was saved by building flood barriers at the legally required minimum. While the reactor itself was shut down for re-fueling, a fire broke out in the electrical system and cooling was lost for the spent fuel rod cooling pool, the same problem now plaguing Fukushima’s building #4. Yes, the Power Plant is saying there has been no release of radiation, but that was the same song we heard from TEPCO at the start. The FAA has declared a no-fly zone for two miles around the plant because of “hazard.”
      At the moment, things look stable, but if the flooding increases (or worse, an upstream dam fails) sandbags are not going to hold back the water. [3]
      — Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer, Fairewinds Associates (Energy Consultants — including on Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant)
      This no-fly zone in place around Fort Calhoun [4] is definitely not necessary for the river flooding alone, so there must be some type of real threat relative to the nuclear power plant for such measures to be taken. On June 16th the closing sentences of an article written by a retired nuclear physicist living in Hawaii, Tom Burnett (who has made numerous comments about the triple meltdown Fukushima nuclear catastrophe), summed it up well [emphasis added]:
      … it isn’t all bad. The Missouri river is cold enough to keep the pools and cores cool all by itself. And it’s also powerful to pull the fuel out and irradiate half the country. [5]
      Even though the usual claims of “no danger” and “no radioactive releases” are being made — exactly as has been the mantra from all “official mouthpieces” since the Fukushima meltdowns occurred in mid-March — this was reported on Friday (June 17th) [emphasis added]:
      … the NRC has taken the unusual step of sending more inspectors and a branch chief to Fort Calhoun. A branch chief is a top regional regulator. In this case, it’s the individual responsible for overseeing Fort Calhoun inspections and compliance. [6]
      It is certain that we are not being told the whole story about Fort Calhoun, exactly as we are never told the whole story about Fukushima. In fact, it took weeks for a major news provider in the USA to even mention the potential disasters with these two nuclear plants in Nebraska. The New York Times finally picked up the story on June 20th [emphasis added throughout]:
      As record floodwaters along the Missouri River drench homes and businesses, concerns have grown about keeping a couple of notable structures dry: two riverside nuclear power plants in Nebraska.
      Despite the official assurances of safety, the unusual sight of a nuclear plant surrounded by water — coming so soon after the still unfolding nuclear disaster that followed the earthquake and tsunami in Japan — has prompted concern and speculation, leading one utility to add a feature to its Web site called “flood rumor control.” It says, “There has been no release of radioactivity and none is expected.” [7]
      However, these familiar “official assurances of safety” are certainly not the whole story. An Austrian news article published on the same day (June 20th) as the New York Times piece gave a far more candid assessment of the potential for radioactive releases into the flood waters of the Missouri River. Note that the quote is from an automated translation from German to English, resulting in the wording being a little strange — however, the meaning is very clear [emphasis added throughout]:
      “Beyond the sufficient cooling properties of the fuel is, however, the question of whether there has been … contact between contaminated water and the cold river water, or is still to come,” said Paulitz. “One can not exclude that in this way it comes to radioactive releases into the Missouri River. Since the level of the river is still rising and if more dams are possible, the situation could escalate further.” [8]
      Indeed, the radioactive releases into the Missouri River may well be taking place right now. If such is the case, we can be assured that the facts of this particular situation will only be revealed by the ruling “power system” as dictated by their “schedule” and desired “outcomes” — though it seems quite possible (based on the seriousness of events with these nuclear plants and the almost absolute media silence about it) that the “power system” has simply decided to “irradiate half the country” without ever bothering to tell “we the people” about it at all.
      Whether or not radiation is currently being released into the Missouri River, we do know from an NRC “event” report on June 19th that the Cooper nuclear plant has been releasing oil directly into the water:
      This condition has resulted in flooding of the burn pits in the fire training facility, with the subsequent release of the residue which includes unburned fuel oil. Any release of this water containing oil to the Missouri River is uncontrolled at this time. Then is no radiological contamination in this area. [9]
      This is an acknowledgement that fuel oil was (and perhaps still is) being released from a nuclear power plant in an “uncontrolled” manner, directly into the Missouri River. The statement about “no radiological contamination” is of course expected from the NRC, given there is no independent verification as to whether this claim is true or false. Such verification will require testing for radioactive contamination along the course of the Missouri River, so until this independent testing is done (if it is ever even done) it can be assumed that the NRC is not telling the truth (and based on all the experience with Fukushima, this is evidently an appropriate assumption).
      Declaration of Emergency by US Government Relative to Two Nuclear Plants in Nebraska
      Yesterday, June 22nd, the US government made an official declaration of emergency for the two Nebraska counties with the nuclear power plants (Fort Calhoun and Cooper) threatened by the flood waters of the Missouri River:
      Two United States nuclear power plants are on alert and President Obama has declared emergencies in Nebraska’s counties where the two nuclear stations are both experiencing “unusual events.” The official emergency declarations apply to both counties where the nuclear facilities are threatened with flood waters. Red Cross closed its emergency shelter at Fort Calhoun, home of one of the nuclear facilities, and is now referring and transitioning evacuees to other shelters. [10]
      Although they have not used the loaded word of “evacuation” in this article it is obvious based on the actions of the Red Cross that an evacuation of people from their emergency shelter at Fort Calhoun is in fact taking place (and this evacuation may already be finished as of today).
      A good overview discussion of the situation with these two nuclear plants is provided by a 15 minute video created by “DaBu7” one week ago (June 16th), which also shows a lot of stunning photos of the massive flooding (including the waters around Fort Calhoun and Cooper). Here are some key quotes from the video [emphasis added throughout]:
      [From a KMTV Action 3 news report shown in the video:] “OPPD [Omaha Public Power District] did not want KMTV Action 3 News to shoot this video. But, because the Missouri River is a public waterway we feel it’s our job and our right to show the public what’s happening at the Fort Calhoun nuclear power station. Water, in many places, already up to the buildings, with the flood expected to rise another five feet or more this summer.”
      [Comments from Arnie Gundersen in an interview on June 14th:] “Sandbags and nuclear power plants really don’t belong in the same sentence, and now we’re seeing one that is literally putting sandbags up to reinforce itself against the flood. … My concern is: what if a dam breaks? … which could inundate this [nuclear plant] like Fukushima was, with essentially an inland tsunami. The dams are not structurally sound, like, built to the same standards as the nuclear plant, but in fact the nuclear plant is now relying on the integrity of something that’s basically a big earthen berm. … They’re within a foot or two of what they were designed for …”
      Also, since the first writing of this article – The Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper – (which was an inflated with water, big rubber tube) surrounding Fort Calhoun was punctured by a small machine and an idiot driving it, so the water has indeed entered the first floor or two!!!!!
      [From closing comments by DaBu7:] “You just heard him say they’re within a foot or two. And you also heard them say they expect it to rise another five feet. Do the math here folks!” [11]
      This video is definitely worth a look if only to see the seriousness of the massive flooding of the Missouri River, though the no nonsense summary of the threat to these two nuclear power plants is also one of the best out there.
      Now one week on from when this video was made, a CNN affiliate ran a story today (June 23rd) with an update relative to the two nuclear plants under threat from flood waters [emphasis added throughout]:
      Missouri River floodwaters are less than three feet from reaching the site of a nuclear power plant in Nebraska, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
      Some of the grounds at another plant, which has been shut down since April, are already under water, the NRC stated.
      The Cooper Nuclear Station, which is currently operating at full power and the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant are under an “unusual event declaration” by the NRC.
      “We are closely following events at both plants,” NRC Region 4 Administrator Elmo Collins said, in a prepared statement on Wednesday.
      Cooper, according to the statement, “sits two and a half feet above current river levels.”
      “The licensee [OPPD] does not expect floodwaters to impact vital plant equipment,” the NRC stated.
      However, CNN affiliate KETV reported Wednesday that, as a precautionary move, the facility is keeping dozens of staff members onsite around the clock. The station reported that about 60 people are sleeping on cots at the plant and that the staffers are being rotated out every two days.
      The NRC has sent more inspectors to Fort Calhoun where many areas of the plant are under two feet of water, according to the statement. [12]
      So, this article confirms that the flood waters only need to rise less than two and a half feet (as more water has accumulated since the article was published earlier today) before the Cooper nuclear plant is also going to be under water (in addition to Fort Calhoun, which is already under water). Yet the news stories about the flood (such as that from KMTV Action 3) clearly state that the water levels are expected to rise at least another five feet! This confirms that no one at the NRC or OPPD is capable of doing even a simple math calculation with two single digit numbers, at least not when writing up any reports that will be quoted to the public.
      Also, note that the Cooper nuclear plant is continuing to operate at full power even when it is so obviously under great threat! It is difficult to find sufficiently descriptive words for such incredible insanity. What extra warning signs are needed as to the emergency situation that will inevitably be developing (once the plant is under water within days or weeks, given the expected rise of water levels by “five feet or more”) before they will shut down the plant and take every possible measure to ensure that it is as safe as possible?!
      In another article published today, June 23rd, titled “Why is there a Media Blackout on Nuclear Incident at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska?” there are some strong words of warning about the developing situation [emphasis added throughout]:
      Since flooding began on June 6th, there has been a disturbingly low level of media attention given to the crisis at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Facility near Omaha, Nebraska. But evidence strongly suggests that something very serious has in fact happened there.
      ( A video on You Tube that has probably been taken down already, had a man arrested for going to close to Fort Calhoun and after he spent a night in jail and paid a $25 fine he posted the video saying: that he observed several workers in Haz Mat Suits, and convoy’s of extra pumps and fuel being ‘boated’ in. NOT a good sign! This happened the last week of July and is an update of what, next to nothing, we have been told is going on there..)
      [Tom] Burnett states, “Ft. Calhoun is the designated spent fuel storage facility for the entire state of Nebraska … and maybe for more than one state. Calhoun stores its spent fuel in ground-level pools which are underwater anyway — but they are open at the top. When the Missouri river pours in there, it’s going to make Fukushima look like an X-Ray.”
      One of the lessons we can learn for Japan’s tragic Fukushima disaster is that the government’s choice to impose a media blackout on information around the disaster may have already cost thousands of lives. Only time will tell the scope the disaster and how many victims it will claim. [13]
      So, we will have to wait and see what happens (and what is revealed publicly, if anything) relative to these two now partially submerged nuclear power plants that are both experiencing “unusual events” (= “events that may well mark the beginning of even more nuclear catastrophe” — after a little Newspeak decoding).
      The situation is certainly not looking good as of today. Prayer (or any similar invocation, if you are not inclined to prayer) for a wholly benign outcome to this extremely dangerous situation is definitely positive and useful. Also, helping to break the media silence by informing as many people as you can about these events is essential. If people do not get hip to the incredible dangers of all nuclear technology such that we are collectively able to make the only sane decision relative to nuclear power — the decision to bring a complete and permanent end to the “nuclear era” (and immediately!) — then planet Earth may soon be so utterly irradiated that it will be hostile to all life.
      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

      CURRENT READINGS OF BACK GROUND RADIATION IN OMAHA NEBRASKA, TESTED BY PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, SHOWS GREATLY HIGH CONCENTRATIONS OF RADIATION TO DATE. WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?
      July 25th 2011


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