Reactor No. 1 core had total meltdown and uranium fuel may be outside containment building — Nuclear reaction could have restarted
May 16th, 2011
Meanwhile, the Disaster at Fukushima Continues, The Atlantic, May 16, 2011:
As Nature News’ Geoff Brumfiel reports, workers went into the unit recently “to recalibrate some of the sensors on the reactor.” Much to their surprise and dismay, they found that the core experienced a total meltdown. The zirconium alloy tubes that hold the uranium fuel pellets during normal operation all warped and the uranium is now lying at the bottom of the pressure vessel, or possibly even outside of it in the basement below or outside the concrete containment building. With all the fuel piled up at the bottom, there is some danger that the nuclear reaction could have restarted. As of now, engineers on the scene aren’t sure what happened.