Fukushima Reactor 2 Core Has Melted Through Reactor

Tyler Durden's picture

This will not be news for most objective Zero Hedge readers as we indicated this is a distinct possibility on several occasions, but some of those more "skeptical" about reality would be interested to know that according to Reuters "the core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel", Democratic Congressman Edward Markey told a hearing on the nuclear disaster on Wednesday. "I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the core of Unit Two has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel," said Markey, a prominent nuclear critic in the House of Representatives. Surely there is some bullish spin to this. We are too tired to look for it though.

And never one to not find the silver lining in the mushroom cloud, US nuclear regulator NRC promptly had to add its 2 cents:

A top official from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Wednesday it was not clear that Japan's Fukushima No. 2 nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel.

Earlier, Democratic lawmaker Edward Markey told a House of Representatives hearing on the nuclear disaster that the NRC had told him the core had melted through the vessel.

"That's not clear to us, nor is it clear to us that the reactor has penetrated the vessel," said Martin Virgilio, deputy executive director for reactor and preparedness programs at the NRC.

Perhaps in order to make it clear, Mr. Virgilio can go to Fukushima and find out first hand.

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slow_roast's picture

S&P to 5,000,000,000 now.

66Sexy's picture

'Dow Up on Japan Reconstruction Plans' - AP

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Three weeks or so ago, the world was coming to an end with disaster after disaster.  Nothing has been fixed, and things are actually a great deal worse than before because now tons and tons of radioactive water is killing Japan's fishing industry, and anyone dumb enough to eat the thyroid killing food.

So what happened?  Why billions and billions of dollars, yen and euros were fed into the "risk on" machine and the markets went up.  Nothing got fixed, just papered over.

66Sexy's picture

Destruction is the Keynesian warm fuzzy blanket. Think of all the money they can create by lending to japan..... @ interest.

bingaling's picture

Problem is will they want to rebuild? This is what is being misunderstood . Maybe the AP means the relocation of ....

66Sexy's picture

its a fake headline illustrating how ridiculous the measures of the financial media are in their attempts to attribute actual economic facts to what is in reality just fiat expanded margins and debt backed by debt ...unlimited money creation for speculators while they have regulatory capture.

economessed's picture

And to me, the meta-level of ridiculousness is that we're spending any time at all trying to figure out how to profit from this epic disaster.

We certainly don't have a greed deficit.  We have a leadership and sanity deficit.  They'll be plent of time to make some money AFTER THE RADIATION IS CONTAINED AND WE SECURE OUR FOOD SUPPLIES IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

Jumpin jesus on a pogo stick - what is the plan to mitigate this disaster?

chumbawamba's picture

This is the plan.

I am Chumbawamba.

Drachma's picture

Agreed, another tool in the slow-kill arsenal. Chumbawamba knows all.

collinar's picture

Re: "what is the plan to mitigate this disaster"?

Answer: Move to Earth number two.

Earth number one is FUBAR, since one microgram of Plutonium will kill you, and Reactor number 3 has several tonnes of the stuff.


kaiserhoff's picture

Yes, who will build in Japan now, or hold their debt?  When, if ever, do their exports recover?

66Sexy's picture

the IMF would love some beachfront villas in Japan... y'know, to hold their secret meetings to plan the coup d' grace for America.

Confuchius's picture


Your comment on the IMF makes it sound like some foreign devil. It is not. It is a 100% kriminal amerikan organization, like your banks, brokers, politicians and the rest of what used to pass for a government.




destiny's picture

I should think not...its an international organization ! the coup de grace will be given to Europe as well.

Jack Mayoffer's picture

I say "Fire Sale" those Canon EF lenses I want, Japan!  Shit, now I have to google what part of the island they are made.  Upwind lenses only, please.

Bananamerican's picture

+ millions of similar calculations....

linrom's picture

Who wants some sushi or shrimp creole? Or USDA GM meat pumped full of antibiotics? Who needs regulation?

Natasha Fatale's picture

Who needs food anyway?

Here's a tip: the smart money is long Soylent Green

Sokhmate's picture

I'm glad I've bought all the glass I need before the disaster, alas, Nikon.

kaiserhoff's picture

Yes.  Who will build in Japan now?  Who wants to own their debt or real estate?  When, if ever, will exports recover, in what is fundamentally an export driven economy?

Banjo's picture

There is nothing about Keynes writing that said you spend more than you earn all the time. Indeed Keynes explicitly mentioned that in good times you build savings and then during a downturn you can be counter cyclical spend those savings and perhaps a little more (i.e. deficit)

Keynes was actually a pretty  smart guy and was not attached to any dogma including his own. I have not read all his work but he was a man who changed his mind and adapted to circumstances as the world around him changed.

If you have the time google Dying of Money by Jens O Parson. A really good read and some background on Keynes and the inflation mess most governments end up in.


slimfinger's picture


Keynes' "debt is power" ideology is embraced and force-fed to the world because it suits the banks and central controllers.  It's that simple.


Banjo's picture

Keynes' "debt is power" ideology is embraced and force-fed to the world because it suits the banks and central controllers.  It's that simple.

Yes simple incorrect and not even based on the facts, an example of wanton igonrance.

More power to you though.

DavidC's picture

Yup, exactly like 2008 except with no radiation then...


A Man without Qualities's picture

I reckon Bernanke gives BofA the inside track on a lot of these ramp jobs.  He knows that he's in a lot of trouble for his role in the ML deal if he doesn't do something to make the shareholders happy.  

Crony capitalism at its finest...

knukles's picture

Law of Unintended Consequences takes hold.

How happy are the boys and girls at Mother Merril that they got (jammed) saved by BofA.

Regulation at its finest.

Piranhanoia's picture

We start over. So we have 3 eyes. That's even better than 3D. 

pyite's picture

I think you guys are, as usual, overstating things.  Here is a link to the DoE/NNSA report from Monday:


It is a serious situation but the uninformed hysteria isn't helping.


espirit's picture

...and neither is your un-attainable link to credibility. Trust in govt requires eyes in the back of the head.

Maybe we'll get there yet.

Stormdancer's picture

Talk to us when the spewing of new radioactive materials has ceased.  Kinda hard to overstate  something still in progress with many possible predictable paths that would result in much worse releases.


And go ahead and move your family to Chiba prefecture while you're at it.

flattrader's picture

See http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/

for the latests updates.

Notice the German wind map has the radioactive plume blowing south over the ocean and then back north across Japan and Korea, grazing China.

pyite's picture

By "plume" I'll assume you mean a barely detectable too-low-to-cause-any-problems amount of radio-iodine.


tmosley's picture

You haven't been paying attention.  The plume is full of radioactive materials that are contaminating anything and everything they touch.  It might be dilute enough to no longer be a problem once it gets to the US, but it is causing a lot of cancers right now, and the land itself will be "uninhabitable" a la the Chernobyl exclusion zone before this is over (which is now apparently going to be never).

Normalcy bias is your new name.

espirit's picture

Plume of fume, that's burning metals hopium head.  Radioactive burning metals of the worst kind.

Breathe freely now...

slewie the pi-rat's picture

t.y. for including the link, flattrader.

ahem...slewie mentioned this "viable" possibility to aristarchan, last week, right here in river city, when he was down-playing everything, including the size of these reactors, compared to chernobyl, while questioning him about the real possibilities of "intermittent re-criticality" which he then was kind unuf to respond to, in the affirmative, while poo-poo-ing the serious of all this, of course. 

Jim in MN was doing the math for his great "cesium analysis" at the time and bob_d had to slug ari pretty hard to keep him from nuking Jim's analysis before he finished and posted it!

i wonder if ari isn't gonna hafta come to grips with his "biases" here, soon, and stop projecting them on those who are more "alamist" then the nuclear industry finds comfy, right now...

slewie the pi-rat's picture

that said, and reuters and ed markey considered, i do not consider their pronouncements proof of the melt-through.  just punched up fairewinds; nothing there, yet.  so, i'll continue to say that it looks like we may have such a problem in #2.  where's rodney dangerfield when ya need him?

the mad hatter's picture

Meltup caused by a meltdown?

Oy vey what a whacky world we live in.

chindit13's picture

You are confused by the curvature of the Earth.  Easy mistake to make.  Japan and New York are on opposite sides of the world, so what melts down in Japan is up relative to New York.  Go with the flow.  Ride that neutron beam to da moon!

Amish Hacker's picture

Here's a link to see what's on the opposite side of the world from anywhere: http://www.freemaptools.com/tunnel-to-other-side-of-the-earth.htm

Opposite to Fukushima puts you in the south Atlantic, off the coast of Brazil.

andybev01's picture

'Hacker; totally cool link.

Urban Redneck's picture

shit, then my farm might be down wind

Jim in MN's picture

Do you think Operation Huge Sheet has a shot?  Have you seen the details? 

Urban Redneck's picture

What I read was that Operation Huge Sheet somehow magically combined flexible material and structural reinforcement that would save what's left the building in the event of the next quake.  Either the author or the guy at TEPCO who told him about it must have been suffering radiation induced delusions.  I am hoping for a better article or a link to manufacturer's spec sheet for this wonderful product so I can better understand what they were trying to state in the first place.   

Jim in MN's picture

Best I got--they hope to intercept airflow, not protect the buildings--more like Odor Eaters or dryer fabric softener sheets or something--Operation Snuggle?:

Radiation-shielding sheets to be installed in Sept. at earliest

TOKYO, April 6, Kyodo

A plan to cover damaged reactor buildings at the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant with special sheets to halt radiation leakage cannot offer a quick remedy, as the sheeting will be installed in September at the earliest due to high-level radioactivity hampering work at the site, government sources said Tuesday.

The government had asked Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima Daiichi power station crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami, to study the installment of radiation-shielding sheets, and a major construction firm commissioned to examine the idea said the construction will not start until June, the sources told Kyodo News.

They said workers need to wait until radiation levels drop at the site, where hydrogen explosions have blown away the roofs and upper walls of three reactor buildings.

Some nuclear experts have been skeptical about the feasibility of the plan as they believe the step would have only limited effects in blocking the release of radioactive substances into the environment.

In a meeting Tuesday of a team tasked with halting the leakage of radioactive substances from the plant under a task force set up by the government and the operator known as TEPCO, the construction firm gave prospects for the work schedule, the sources said.

At the gathering, a specialist from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the structure of the special sheets should guarantee that spent nuclear fuel pools in the reactor buildings will not be damaged even if the sheeting is toppled by quakes or typhoons, according to the sources.

Specialists in the government are planning to stem possible surges in radiation levels or further explosions in the reactor buildings to be wrapped by the sheets, by attaching materials that absorb radioactive materials to the inner side of the sheeting and installing air vents with filters to let out hydrogen, they said.

At the plant, TEPCO has been spraying water-soluble resin that has a coating effect to prevent radioactive particles from being dispersed by wind and rain. But the resin does not have effects to shield radiation.

The costs of building framed structures around the Nos. 1-4 reactor buildings and wrapping them with the special sheets are estimated to reach 80 billion yen.


Urban Redneck's picture

My bad- TEPCO & NRC, only short 1 stooge.

There are timeline issues-

if today = april, startdate = june, and endate = september, but startdate is dependent in lowered radiation at the site, then the whole thing is a non-starter, but its the nuclear science that's beyond me- will the readiation level drop at the job site?  


StychoKiller's picture

Arrgghh!  The Stupid, it burns!

Byte Me's picture

If that refers to Japanese 'shrouds' then "maybe". I worked it into this proposal:


Prepared to suggest bauxite via nautical delivery in place of granite.

(I really,really hate talking my own book.)

Preventing damage to reactor containment seems moot at this stage.