News / Asia

Fuel Rods at Japanese Plant Were Exposed

Workers wearing protective suits check the status of the water level indicator at the fuel area inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Number 1 reactor in Fukushima Prefecture May 10, 2011.
Workers wearing protective suits check the status of the water level indicator at the fuel area inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Number 1 reactor in Fukushima Prefecture May 10, 2011.

Operators of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant say water levels in the plant's number-one reactor are lower than originally thought.  

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said Thursday the problem became evident when workers finally were able to enter the building and adjust water gauges in the unit. The company previously thought the water was about one meter below the top of the nuclear fuel rods. Instead, it is actually below the rods - leaving them completely exposed.

A company manager told reporters that fuel pellets probably melted and fell, creating a hole at the bottom of the reactor vessel.

But officials say temperatures in the unit indicate the fuel is still being cooled.  They say this shows that efforts to prevent it from overheating are working.

The Fukushima plant was crippled and shut down improperly after the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan two months ago.

TEPCO also said that workers on Wednesday discovered a new leak of highly radioactive water into the ocean next to the plant. They said the source of the water was found and the leak was sealed.

Radiation given off by the plant's damaged fuel rods has been largely contained by large concrete cases that surround the reactors, though some radiation has escaped into the atmosphere.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's cabinet on Thursday postponed a final decision on a plan to help TEPCO compensate individuals and businesses for financial losses suffered because of the nuclear disaster.  Kan said he wanted to continue discussing the plan Friday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid