Nuclear fuel likely melted through Fukushima reactor vessel

Camera finds hole, deadly radiation levels in No. 2 reactor

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TOKYO — Melted fuel likely leaked out into a reactor’s containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and is emitting deadly radiation inside, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings reported on Thursday.

Tepco inspected the inside of the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel in late January by inserting a camera on a telescoping pole. The resulting images showed a 1-sq.-meter hole apparently melted into a steel-grating walkway directly beneath the reactor pressure vessel, all but confirming that there was a leak.

 Based on the “noise” in the images, the utility estimated that one area of the containment vessel was emitting radiation at a level of 530 sieverts per hour — enough to kill a human in under a minute. Only emissions up to 73 Sv/hour had been detected before at the reactor, which was crippled by a March 2011 tsunami. (Click to Article)

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