Officials do not know for certain whether there have been meltdowns at two reactors in a nuclear facility in the northeast, said Yukio Edano, the Chief Cabinet Secretary.
They are working under the presumption that such meltdowns have taken place as they attempt to cool down radioactive material and release pressure inside the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, he said.
A meltdown is a catastrophic failure of the reactor core, with a potential for widespread radiation release. Death toll, nuclear meltdown fears rise in Japan - CNN.com
US Nuclear Experts Worry About Possible Japan Reactor Meltdown
Underscoring grave concerns about the Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant some 150 miles north of Tokyo, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. Air Force had delivered coolant to try to lower the temperature of the facility’s nuclear rods.
Tokyo Electric Power Co said pressure inside a reactor at its Fukushima-Daiichi plant rose after the cooling system was knocked out by the earthquake.
Japanese officials have reassured the public, saying there is no danger of a meltdown of the reactor core. But US nuclear experts say they are worried about the possibility.
Beyond Nuclear staff members are closely monitoring the unfolding nuclear power plant crisis in Japan following a massive earthquake and are available to provide technical expertise and information to media.
Mixed reports about the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant confirm that emergency battery power is being used to keep the plant’s emergency core cooling systems running. A mass evacuation suggests the possibility that radioactivity is being – or could be – released from the plant.
Eleven of Japan’s 55 reactors are reportedly shut down due to the earthquake and as many as 6,000 residents are already being evacuated around the Fukushima Daiichi plant. “The emergency at Fukushima Daiichi is alarming because the plant has lost central and emergency diesel power to most of its safety systems and is relying on battery power which can deplete in a matter of hours,” said Paul Gunter, director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear who has traveled in Japan and is familiar with their nuclear complex. “Once the batteries give out, the irradiated nuclear fuel in the operating reactor core could begin to melt down. If the containment systems fail, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. http://asiantribune.com/news/2011/0...s-worry-about-possible-japan-reactor-meltdown