Stratfor: Japan Government Confirms Meltdown

Tyler Durden's picture

From Stratfor:

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said March 12
that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear plant could
only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily
Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s comments earlier March 12, in
which he said “the walls of the building containing the reactor were
destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not
explode.”

NISA’s statement is significant because it is the government agency
that reports to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy within the
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. NISA works in conjunction with
the Atomic Energy Commission. Its role is to provide oversight to the
industry and is responsible for signing off construction of new plants,
among other things. It has been criticized for approving nuclear plants
on geological fault lines and for an alleged conflict of interest in
regulating the nuclear sector. It was NISA that issued the order for the
opening of the valve to release pressure — and thus allegedly some
radiation — from the Fukushima power plant.

NISA has also overseen the entire government response to the nuclear
reactor problems following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. It is
difficult to determine at this point whether the NISA statement is
accurate, as the Nikkei report has not been corroborated by others. It
is also not clear from the context whether NISA is stating the
conclusions of an official assessment or simply making a statement.
However, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the
Fukushima nuclear plant, also said that although it had relieved
pressure, nevertheless some nuclear fuel had melted and further action
was necessary to contain the pressure.

If this report is accurate, it would not be the first time statements
by NISA and Edano have diverged. When Edano earlier claimed that
radiation levels had fallen at the site after the depressurization
efforts, NISA claimed they had risen due to the release of radioactive
vapors