Well, in tried and true fashion, it took Japan a week to confirm what everyone else had been certain had occurred over a week earlier. According to the Asahi Shinbun, with a translation courtesy of Ex-Skf, we finally know that the "nuclear fuel rods in the pressure vessels and in the spent fuel pools at the plant have been damaged." Which means that any incremental work the repair crews may be doing at this point is simply window dressing in preparation for the concrete tomb/lead bath.
TEPCO released the test result of the air sample taken from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant today [March 21]. Analysis of the sample, collected on March 19 at 200 meters from the northwest corner of the Reactor No.1, showed the level of radioactive iodine at 6 times as high as the safety limit; it also showed the existence of cesium.
Both iodine and cesium are byproducts of nuclear fission. The test seems to confirm that the nuclear fuel rods in the Pressure Vessels and in the Spent Fuel Pools at the Plant have been damaged.
It took TEPCO 2 days to analyze the sample, as the sample had to be taken to Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant for analysis.
Japan's nuclear safety agency said on Monday it acknowledged a risk of radioactive dust being inhaled by workers at the stricken nuclear plant in Fukushima, but had seen no sign yet of that happening.
Could they be more specific: "there were no signs of workers breathing in air", or "there were no signs of "volunteer" kamikazis growing a 4th arm in the last 168 hours?" Surely both will be perfecty contained outcomes to this increasingly more irresponsible disaster.