reply to post by ikonoklast
It is basically vindication IMO. There is no way the corium from reactor #3 is inside that building. All that is left of the RPV now is a huge
vertical piece of pipe. I now believe that the posters who were saying they thought they saw the lid of the reactor in the explosion were probably
The actual corium is sitting underneath the building inside the bedrock. Apparently the rock can dissipate enough heat to keep it from moving down, at
least quickly. If not, we would already have seen a steam explosion that would have dwarfed the last one. The small amount of steam indicates that the
corium is now quite probably solid again, floating in seawater mostly encased in the bedrock. That steam is very hazardous, containing isotopes
ranging from strontium-90 to iodine-131 to chlorine-36 and everything in between. A cool, solid mass of corium puts out just as much heat and
radiation as a superheated liquid mass of corium. The heat of a meltdown is a reaction, not a cause.
Every shift of the tides is pumping that highly radioactive seawater back out into the Pacific or water back into the cracks around the corium.
Seawater levels will continue to rise until everything in that area is dead. Beyond this kill zone, there will be a larger buffer zone that will
harbor dying and mutating species, but will still support some kind of life.
I believe, based on TEPCO's actions, that the bedrock is cracked far too much to attempt a repair.
Northern Japan is a dead zone without knowing it. Anything within 50 miles is going to die prematurely, some fairly quickly. It will remain an
uninhabitable zone for what is practically eternity.
Other countries... well, I expect there to be an adjustment on the US west coast to deal with higher radiation levels in the water. The air
contamination is slowly easing, which makes me believe that it was caused by the initial explosion at #3 and not by continuing contamination of the
air. Obviously, the US will be the foremost major country to see widespread effects, although the coasts of China and Russia will see some appreciable
contamination as well, probably higher than the US. Smaller countries like North and South Korea will also be affected significantly.
The extent of international effects will be ultimately determined not by #3, but by #1 and #2, and possibly by #5 and #6. The plant will soon become
completely unworkable; those brave heroes are going to die. Soon. I doubt they will be able to keep things under wraps after that, and therefore will
be unable to get more workers. If there are reactions occurring in those other reactors, they will probably explode as well without human
intervention. Ironically, the best case with #1 and #2 will be that they are melting into the bedrock as well, contaminating the Pacific more, but not
blowing more isotopes into the upper atmosphere to be dumped on other countries.
The spent fuel pools will be a local problem, not an international one. They will be at least as devastating as the meltdowns to Japan.
We just witnessed the removal of Japan from the status of developed country, and a new era of radiation concerns worldwide.