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Reading the cited article it seems that they are confirming that three steel reactor containment vessels have been breached and that reactor fuel is pooling on the concrete floors of the concrete containment vessels. Absent a floor geometry specifically designed to disperse the corium into sub-critical packages it is likely to all be in one fairly small area under the hole melted through the steel. If this is the case could there be enough corium and it could be thick enough that criticality continues? If so, could not the top of the corium pool be cooled by water, which is boiling, while the bottom continues to react with the concrete?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 12:53:55 PM EST
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And would not the immanence of corium exiting the entire containment structure be the time to admit that corium has exited the reactor pressure vessel? That seems to be the pattern.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 12:55:36 PM EST
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Do I correctly recall that there were reports of having flooded the concrete containment structure around RPV #1? I recall some expressing concern that the added water could compromise the seismic integrity of the structure, (which may already be compromised, resulting in some of the leaks of radioactive sea water.) If that is so, would it not be likely that they have flooded all three concrete containment structures at least up to the level of the bottom of the RPV? And if they kept injecting water into the RPV until corium melted through the bottom, would there be a dramatic steam signature to signal that event?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 01:25:06 PM EST
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There was much discussion about earthquake damage, added to the weight of water of water packed inside. TEPCO appeared worried that the weight of water was causing damage to the structure of reactors 1 and 3, so decreased the amount of cooling water at one point

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 02:17:46 PM EST
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Reminds me: there is no info on the size and number of the hole or holes, either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 02:03:35 PM EST
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