AUDIO: US gov’t experts think melted fuel rods landed in water under Reactor No. 2, causing STEAM explosion — Pressure dropped dramatically at same time — Clear indications primary containment lost

Published: March 2nd, 2012 at 2:25 am ET
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Title: NRC’s Operation Center Fukushima Transcript
Source: NRC
Date: March 14, 2011
Emphasis Added

TONY ULSES: Yeah, there was some confusing information about that, but I think the bottom line is they’re not comfortable that they have containment for Unit 2.

JIM TRAPP: So they didn’t tell us it their X vessel, but what they did tell us kind of would lead you to that conclusion.

JACK GROB: Okay, so if I understand correctly, that’s your judgment based on what you heard.

JIM TRAPP: That, that’s correct.

[...]

JACK GROB: Hey,. guys, when you said “a loud sound”, what did you interpret that as?

TONY ULSES: It was my, I think both of us believe that one of the sources, that it wouldn’t — it wasn’t like the other two loud sounds with Unit 1 and 3 when the reactor building blew. You know, my guess is, and it’s just, it’s just pure conjecture, would be it was probably when the core went X-up.

[UNIDENTIFIED MAN:] And landing in the water under the vessel, it would have caused a little steam explosion.

JACK GROB: That, that’s what I heard you say. But what you think is that that was a steam explosion from the fuel going X-vessel, and we heard that containment at that point in time went from three atmospheres to one atmosphere.

JIM TRAPP: That makes sense.

TONY ULSES: Yep. It would.

[...]

JACK GROB: [...] Unit 2 is not in very good condition at all. It appears that core cooling has not existed for quite some time. It appears that the, the pumps that were injecting into the core have been deadheaded for some time. Several hours ago, there was a loud sound that appeared to come from inside the dry well, and at that time, the pressure inside primary containment went from three atmospheres to one atmosphere (essentially, atmospheric pressure). There is clear indication that primary containment is not intact, and there may also be indication that fuel, that there has been substantial core melt, and possibly even the loud sound in the breach of containment was caused by an X vessel fuel situation. That last bit of information cannot be confirmed at this time.

[...]

MARTY VIRGILIO: It’s really — this is Marty Virgilio — it’s really rapidly evolving now given the fact that, for Unit 2, it appears that we have the core X vessel and we don’t have a containment any longer. We’ve lost the primary containment. So what I’m going to suggest at this point is, if we can wrap this up because we have to get back to work [...]

Published: March 2nd, 2012 at 2:25 am ET
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