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Trying to answer my own question, I again checked the Mathias Braun/Areva presentation. On slide 17, I found something of relevance: it says that the fuel rods won't yet melt if they are half out of water only, they will do so 2/3 exposed (when cladding temperature reaches up to 900°C), and the temperature for zirconium reaction with steam is reached when 3/4 exposed.

The fuel rods are 4 m high, and currently 1.5 to 2.3 m out of water. (The 2.3 m reading is from No. 3, but the second meter in the same core indicates 1.9 m, so I guess one of these meters is damaged and unreliable, too.)

Regarding seawater injection, slide 25 says it was into the pressure vessels, but Mr. Braun is uncertain about the flooding of the surrounding containment (apart from No. 1), and the drawing shows complete fuel rod coverage, so I guess he didn't have enough info himself.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 04:37:16 AM EST
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