Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A little high-level summary of knowns, unknowns and speculation from someone who hasn't been following all that closely, please complete/correct :

  • They have been pumping seawater into the reactors (and, I presume, the spent fuel storage pools) and need to continue to do so in order to prevent overheating
  • Is the topping-up required because of evaporation (boiling?) or because of leaks? Or both? In what proportion?
  • Are they still hosing the reactors and/or reactor buildings externally too? Is this necessary for heat dissipation too?
  • One of the reactors is cracked, therefore leaking
  • Others may be leaking from cracked pipes or burnt-out gaskets
  • Fuel rods are partially melted in some (all?) of the reactors, therefore the entire generation/cooling circuit contains fission products which would normally be confined inside the fuel rods themselves, and are now able to reach the outside world insofar as these circuits are leaking
  • I have no idea if there are any pumps currently working on any of the cooling systems : if they were, then surely they would not need to continue adding water, as circulation would be sufficient to dissipate the heat (unless the topping up is required because of leaks...
  • Perhaps they are afraid to run the pumps for fear of exacerbating leaks, or causing new ones?
  • They need to evacuate the contaminated water somehow, they have been sandbagging figuratively, and now literally
  • Prediction : they will announce barges within the next 12 hours (since this was first suggested on ET, what, 12 hours ago?)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 05:53:32 AM EST

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