Yeah, so, it turns out they had the water level all wrong in reactor No. 1 now that they have more accurate measurements. The water level was probably well below the level of the rods for most of the time. Considering how much the core has cooled down, this means it has probably melted down to the pool at the bottom for some time now (hence the term, ermm, meltdown, one would think). This is where the reactions with the bottom of the reactor that create hydrogen explosions is supposed to occur. But I guess the core is cool enough that there is not a high risk of this? I think if they had known weeks ago that the actual water level was so low, they wouldn't have been so optimistic about further dangers. But things have gone this long without any explosions or exponential radiation releases so....
And don't forget this is the one they were the most optimistic about. It is my understanding that with the core at the bottom, it can continue making holes in the containment, further complicating cooling and leakage of radioactive water.
Meanwhile, reactor no. 3 still "appears" to be dropping in temperature, at least according to twice daily TEPCO status reports. Down to 150 degrees last I saw. Still wonder about the accuracy of that.
TEPCO will have to revise it's containment and cooling strategy and timetable. To what, who knows? Anyway, numbers in Tokyo still look good. Food appears to be safe as well.
_________________________ We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle
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