May 24, 2011
The operator of Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant on Tuesday said it believed fuel had partially melted inside three reactors, as long suspected by experts.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said new readings on water gauges indicated that the fuel had dropped to the bottom of the containment vessels of units two and three, matching its earlier assessment of unit one.
In all three reactors, relatively low temperatures indicated that the fuel was now mostly covered by water that has been pumped into the vessels, meaning there was no immediate threat of an uncontrolled full meltdown.
“It is highly possible that (partial) meltdowns have occurred at reactors two and three,” a TEPCO spokesman said as the firm released its latest analysis of data from the plant after the March 11 quake and tsunami.