Pick a number, and that reactor is described as being near a meltdown. The news coverage coming out of Japan is even more confused when American media deciphers it. Hopefully hard facts come in soon…
Meltdown occurred according to Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency
URGENT: March 12 00:00 PST: Explosion at Nuclear Facility
VIDEO of explosion at nuke plant.
Reuters Live Earthquake News Feed
Several people appear to be injured at Fukushima nuclear plant – NHK
Walls and roof of a building at site destroyed by blast – NHK via Sky News
UPDATE: 22:50 PST: BREAKING NEWS: Pressure successfully released from Fukushima No. 1 reactor: agency
UPDATE: 21:47 PST: Meltdown underway at Reactor #1? http://twitter.com/#!/dicklp
Fukushima fuel cores are melting at 2000C and dropping onto steel floor. Steel melts at 1500C. Could still be brought under control, but Four other Fukushima nuke reactors are struggling with similar problem. If multiple meltdown begins, it will be uncontrollable.
Nuclear reactor coolant systems are running on batteries, and the coolant has reached the boiling point. Extremely critical situation currently at several earthquake affected nuclear reactors. Officials are concerned that a Three Mile Island 1979 meltdown could happen here. Reuters Link
From the LA Times:
Conditions appear to be worsening at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan, according to local media.
The Kyodo news agency reported that the cooling system has failed at three reactors of Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant. The coolant water’s temperature had reached boiling temperature, the agency reported, citing the power plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power.
The cooling system failure at the No. 2 power plant came after officials were already troubled by the failure of the emergency cooling system at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, which officials feared could cause a meltdown.