Conflict over handling nuclear crisis revealed, Japan Times, Dec. 28, 2011 [Emphasis Added]:
Masao Yoshida, general manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, believed the worst-case scenario — the “China syndrome” — might be near and he braced for death during the late-night hours of March 14, three days after the crisis started.
Pressure was rising at an alarming rate inside reactor No. 2, keeping plant workers from injecting critical coolant water into the reactor’s core to prevent the fuel rods inside from melting down [...]
Yoshida was thinking that the dreaded China syndrome — in which nuclear fuel melts down and burns through the containment vessel, spreading massive amounts of radioactive materials into the environment — might happen soon in reactor 2.
If that were to occur, workers would have to flee and the same catastrophe would also hit reactors 1 and 3, Yoshida judged. [...]
Goshi Hosono, Minister of State for the Nuclear Power Policy and Administration (Nuclear Accident Minister) with translator
Recorded Dec. 19, 2011
- In regard to where the nuclear fuel might be there are 3 possibilities:
- Possibility 1: In pressure vessel
- Possibility 2: In containment vessel
- “The third possibility is it [nuclear fuel] might have worked it’s way out through the containment vessel and be underneath it” [...]
- “In regard to that third possibility that some fuel may have worked its way out of the containment vessel and gone underneath it, I think there’s a very strong possibility…we think there is a strong possibility that some fuel is in that location as well.”
Published: December 28th, 2011 at 6:58 am ET