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Report: Meltdown confirmation led Japan officials to begin evacuating on Tuesday — As U.S. nuclear agency stops monitoring Fukushima ‘because the situation had improved’

Published: May 17th, 2011 at 12:29 pm ET
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TEPCO officials confirm meltdown in Fukushima reactor No 1 while water levels uncontrollably rise and thousands more evacuate, Bellona (Norway), May 17, 2011:

[...] The fuel melted through the bottom of the reactor core, something that can cause a dangerous and uncontrolled chain reaction. A highly placed TEPCO official also said he expected that because the fuel in Fukushima Daiichi’s reactor Nos 2 and 3 is in similar condition, meltdowns likely occurred at those power blocks as well.

Officials with TEPCO, which owns the Fukushima Daiichi plant, said that it took them over two months to reveal the incendiary news of the meltdown because they had only begun to start obtaining detailed data on the temperatures and pressure in the reactor and analyze it in early May – though many nuclear and environmental experts had long concluded that the fuel melt had taken place.

The confirmation of the meltdown TEPCO led Japanese officials Tuesday to begin evacuating people from outside the 20 kilometer radius exclusion zone [...]


Japan: U.S. Agency to Stop Monitoring Nuclear Plant
, New York Times, May 16, 2011:

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday that its 24-hour operations center had stopped monitoring the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant because the situation there had improved. “The conditions at the Japanese reactors are slowly stabilizing,” said William Borchardt, the agency’s chief staff official. “[...] conditions have continued to improve [...]“

Published: May 17th, 2011 at 12:29 pm ET
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