Following up on earlier reports that the fuel rods in reactor 1 were truly exposed, NHK now reports another speculation from long ago, finally confirmed by official sources, namely that the reactor is now melting down. NHK reports that "Tokyo Electric Power Company says the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is believed to be in a state of "meltdown". The utility company said on Thursday that most of the fuel rods are likely to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the reactor. Earlier in the day, it found that the coolant water in the reactor is at a level which would completely expose nuclear fuel rods if they were in their normal position." And from Reuters: "The finding makes it likely that at one point in the immediate wake of the disaster the 4-meter-high stack of uranium-rich rods at the core of the reactor had been entirely exposed to the air." Had been, or are? At this rate of admissions (we claimed precisely this happened in March) the next thing we might get a confirmation of from official sources is that there is actual recriticality going on. Which, of course, will be used by the market as another excuse to BTFD, as under central planning everyone lives happily ever after. Oh, and in the meantime, if we recall correctly, the cores of reactors 2 and 3 have also melted down. But Bernanke will just kiss them and make them better.
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