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One possibility is that whatever meltdown was going to happen has already happened and that the water level is one metre below where the bottom of the rods would have been had there been any rods left and the rods are now in the form of molten (and refrozen on contact with water) corium at the bottom of the reactor.

Another possibility is that, two months after the reactor shut down, the fuel is no longer as "hot" as it would have been otherwise. Hot fission products will have decayed and unspent fuel might not heat up enough to melt or burn the Zircon fuel rods.

If the fuel rods are indeed fully exposed, presumably they have been for long enough that whatever disaster was going to happen has already happened.

Economics is politics by other means

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 12th, 2011 at 11:06:35 AM EST
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