Radiation damage control now shifts over to the granddaddy of all free media China, where Xinhua has just reported a "tiny amount of radioactive material in the air over the nation's southeastern coastal areas" has been detected. But not to worry: just like in Japan and everywhere else in the world, this radiation is of the special "Ann Coulter" variety which actually boosts one's natural healthy glow and facilitates a prompt chromosome doubling courtesy of supposedly uber-benign mutation, and after all: more is better, so surely 92 chromosomes is much better than just 46 diploid pairs: "Xinhua quoted China's Nuclear Emergency Coordination Commission as saying that the radioactive level detected does not affect human health and no preventive measures are necessary."
The radioactive material is believed to have drifted from Japan as a result of radiation leaking from the earthquake-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex.
China detected low levels of radioactive iodine-131 in the air over Heilongjiang Province in the northeast for the second day on Sunday, Xinhua said, adding that public health and the environment were not affected.
Chinese monitoring stations detected radioactive material in the air for the first time on Saturday, according to China's Nuclear Emergency Coordination Commission.
And courtesy of EX-SKF, we now learn that TEPCO is once again doing all it can to massage disclosure and delay the release of potentially unpalatable data, after the Asahi Shinbun only recently announced that the Pressure vessels in reactors 1, 2 and 3 may have holes confirming everybody's worst fears of full blown release of radioactive particles in the environment.
From Asahi Shinbun news about one hour ago (3:00PM JST 3/28/2011). Why the hell are they reporting it now?? The information was supposed to have been revealed in the press conference that TEPCO had past midnight on March 28, according to the article:
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitted to the possibility in its early March 28 press conference that the steel Reactor Pressure Vessels that hold nuclear fuel rods in the Reactors 1, 2, 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Plant may have broken. TEPCO explained the situation "Imagine there's a hole." Because of this "hole", contaminated water that's been poured into the Pressure Vessels to cool the fuel rods continues to leak, it is assumed.
In the Reactors 1, 2, and 3, the water level within the Pressure Vessels are not rising as much as desired. TEPCO admitted in the March 28 press conference that the reason why the Pressure Vessels haven't been filled with water was "probably a hole near the bottom, that's the image we have". Asked why there was a hole, TEPCO answered they did not know.
The Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs) are the most important of the 5-layer protection against radiation leak (other 4 are the fuel pellets, cladding of fuel rods, Container Vessels, and the Reactor buildings). The RPVs at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is made of 16-centimeter thick steel, and it has an outlet at the bottom to insert measuring instruments. It is possible that the leak is from that area.
TEPCO also admitted to the possibility of the exposed nuclear fuel rods overheating and damaging the RPVs. According to the nuclear experts, if the fuel rods get damaged and start to melt, it will fall to the bottom of the RPVs and settle. It then becomes harder to cool with water effectively, because the surface area is smaller. It is possible that the melted fuel rods melted the wall of the RPVs with high temperature and created a hole.
On the other hand, TEPCO said it didn't think the RPVs are completely broken, because the pressures inside the RPVs were higher than the atmosphere. "It is not like Chernobyl where the RPV exploded and the fuels were outside the RPV." TEPCO continued to believe in the integrity of the RPVs.
The article continues, but it's not about the RPVs. So far, it's only at Asahi.