So it turns out that there *was* a meltdown around reactor #1. Quite a lot of people suspected this from the visual evidence, but TEPCO and the Japanese government denied, denied, denied. Accusations that those arguing for a meltdown were all internet conspiracy theorists (which also occurred early in the Katrina disaster as well, and in other instances) were used to discredit people who argued that a meltdown had, in fact occurred. This is a useful thing to know, because it gives you a sense of the dynamic being built up between governments and ordinary people as things become less stable on the world scene. On the one hand, extreme events are more common due to climate change, lack of ability to maintain infrastructure, etc... On the other hand, the idea that there is a coherence to these events, and that historically it is risky to trust official versions is maligned as conspiracy theorism.