As the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe that began on March 11, 2011 now continues beyond 161 days, news accounts indicate that the accident maybe worsening and the scope of radioactive contamination widening.
One source states that Tokyo Electric Power Company workers are blowing the whistle on numerous cracks have opened up in the ground around the stricken reactors releasing highly radioactive steam into the area, forcing workers to retreat. The highly radioactive steam would be further evidence that three of the destroyed Fukushima reactor units not only melted down through the reactor vessels but one or more of the molten cores may have now burned through concrete floors and entered into the earth below. This would essentially qualify the multi-unit nuclear accident under the so-called “China Syndrome.”
If these anonymous workers’ reports can be corroborated, this would be further proof that the nuclear catastrophe is still seriously out of control and in fact worsening. It also renews concern about the possibility of an additional hydrogen explosion as a result of the corium (super-hot melted nuclear fuel) coming into contact with subsurface ground water, generating steam and if hot enough, chemically separating out water into its elemental form of explosive hydrogen and oxygen.
In the widening catastrophe, the Japanese Mainichi Daily News reports that excessive amounts of radioactive cesium contamination have been measured more than 62 miles west of the destroyed reactor site in sludge samples taken from a ditch in front of a district court in Fukushima Prefecture. Radioactivity levels were recorded at 186,000 becquerels per kilogram where Japanese government standards now permit no more than 8,000 becquerels per kilogram of cesium contaminated materials to be hauled off and dumped in ordinary landfills. Further news stories report that Chinese territorial waters in the East China Sea are at increasing risk of radioactive contamination of sea food by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Chinese authorities are increasing sea water monitoring following findings of 300 times permissible levels of radioactive cesium-137 and 100 times permissible levels for radioactive strontium-90.
If you follow the first link in this blog (at the very top) there is a Download link (pdf) on that website, for the U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION latest report #58 about the strong likelihood of one of the four reactors containers being breached in the first explosions.