via CounterPunch.org / September 30, 2015 / The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant No. 2 nuclear reactor fuel is missing from the core containment vessel. (Source: Up to 100% of No. 2 Reactor Fuel May Have Melted, NHK World News, Sept. 25, 2015.)
Where did it go? Nobody knows.
Not only that but the “learning curve” for a nuclear meltdown is as fresh as the event itself because “the world has never seen anything like this,” never.
Utilizing cosmic ray muon radiography with nuclear emulsion, researchers from Nagoya University peered inside the reactors at Fukushima. The nuclear fuel in reactor core No. 5 was clearly visible via the muon process. However, at No. 2 reactor, which released a very large amount of radioactive substances coincident with the 2011 explosion, little, if any, signs of nuclear fuel appear in the containment vessel. A serious meltdown is underway.
“The researchers say further analyses are needed to determine whether molten fuel penetrated the reactor and fell down,” Ibid. In short, researchers do not yet know if the molten hot stuff has penetrated the steel/concrete base beyond the containment vessel, thus entering Mother Earth.
The Nagoya University research team, in coordination with Toshiba Corporation, reported their findings at a meeting of the Physical Society of Japan on Sept. 26th.
Thus, therefore, and furthermore, it is advisable to review what’s at stake:
“High-level nuclear waste is almost unimaginably poisonous. Take for example cesium-137, with a half-life of 30 years, which makes up the largest fraction of long-lived radionuclides residing in spent nuclear fuel. One gram of radioactive cesium-137 (about half the size of a dime) contains 88 Curies of radioactivity. 104 Curies of radioactive cesium-137, spread evenly over one square mile of land, will make it uninhabitable for more than a century,” Comments on Draft of Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013, Physicians for Social Responsibility, May 23, 2013.
As for example, there are 1,090 square miles of land surrounding the destroyed Chernobyl reactor that Ukraine classifies as an uninhabitable radioactive exclusion zone because radioactive fallout left more than 104 Curies of cesium- 137 per square mile on the land that makes up the zone. Scientists believe it will be 180 to 320 years before Cesium-137 around Chernobyl disappears from the environment.