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A meltdown may have occurred at at least one nuclear power reactor in Japan, the country's chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, said Sunday, adding that authorities are concerned about the possibility of another meltdown at a second reactor.
"We do believe that there is a possibility that meltdown has occurred. It is inside the reactor. We can't see. However, we are assuming that a meltdown has occurred," he said about the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility.
Meanwhile, Tepco said at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity.
A meltdown occurs when a severe failure of a nuclear power plant system prevents proper cooling of the reactor core, to the extent that the nuclear fuel assemblies overheat and melt. A meltdown is considered very serious because of the potential that radioactive materials could be released into the environment. A core meltdown will also render the reactor unstable until it is repaired. The scrapping and disposal of the reactor core will incur substantial costs for the operator.
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986, at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, part of the Soviet Union). It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and is the only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
The disaster began on 26 April 1986, at reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant, near the town of Pripyat in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, during a systems test. A sudden power output surge took place, and when an attempt was made for emergency shutdown, a more extreme spike in power output occurred which led to a reactor vessel rupture and a series of explosions.
Originally posted by CordDragonzord
Currently eating all of the Iodized salt I have.....
A buildup of hydrogen in the Fukushima Daiichi plant's No. 3 reactor building likely caused the blast, authorities said, which injured six people. But the explosion did not damage the reactor or result in significant radiation leakage, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.
The No. 3 reactor is one of two at the plant where workers have been injecting seawater in a last-ditch effort to cool down fuel rods and prevent a full meltdown after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami Friday disabled cooling systems.
Japanese officials have said that they are operating under the presumption that there may be a partial meltdown in the No. 3 and No. 1 nuclear reactors at the Daiichi plant. Authorities have not yet been able to confirm a meltdown, because it is too hot inside the affected reactors to check.