Tepco - the operator of the stricken Japanese nuclear complex - is finally admitting what independent experts have been saying for months.
Initially, Tepco now admits that reactor number 1 melted down hours after the earthquake. As NHK notes:
Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, says most of the fuel rods in the No.1 reactor had dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel within 16 hours of the earthquake on March 11th.
The utility revealed its study on the subject on Sunday.
TEPCO said it analyzed the data and calculated a timeline for the developments in the No. 1 reactor on the assumption that the reactor lost its cooling system as soon as it was hit by the tsunami.
The firm said that within about 3 hours after the reactor automatically shut down, the cooling water had evaporated to a level at the top of the rods.
In the next hour and a half, parts of the fuel rods are believed to have begun melting.
Almost of all the fuel rods melted and dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel by 6:50 am on March 12th.
The firm says the melted rods created small holes on the bottom of the vessel...
Tepco has also admitted that reactors 2 and 3 have likely melted down as well. As reported in a separate article from NHK:
TEPCO also says the gauges at the No.2 and 3 reactors might not be showing the actual water levels and that both reactors are likely to have undergone meltdowns.