Newsvine, I'm looking for your help. Normally, I would research this myself. Hell, a couple of decades ago, I actually spent a year temping as a technical editor at a company that designed and built nuclear facilities, so it's not like I'm completely unfamiliar with the territory. But the truth is that I have been working on a day job doing 12-hour days for two weeks now, with no end in sight.
I am just too damn tired to find out the truth.
Nevertheless, I am damned curious about where we really stand with the nuclear crisis in Japan. As someone who has written about conspiratorial gatherings of the elites at Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove, not to mention hermetic rituals being performed on the moon, it might surprise some to hear that I consider myself to be a rather measured individual, interested in finding a path to truth by blazing a middle way between extreme viewpoints.
In this case, the extremes I am speaking of are those that are being proposed by the Japanese authorities on the one hand ("move along folks....nothing to see here...") and those who proclaim that the sky is falling, and that we are all doomed to a lingering death from a worldwide veil of fallout raining lethal but invisible particles on us all for the next 40,000 years.
Both of these positions appear to be outliers, vanishingly small probabilities on the edges of the bell-curve of truth. So, Newsvine, I ask: what is the most likely scenario?
There are a few things that seem either certain, or increasingly likely. Number one is that TEPCO has now admitted that at least four reactors cannot be salvaged, and will have to be scrapped.
The dramatic announcement that the four reactors are out of control and will have to be decommissioned was made yesterday by the chairman of the electric company operating the Fukushima plant.
What they have not said for sure is that they are abandoning attempts to prevent total meltdown, but it does seem clear that a core breach and meltdown has almost certainly occurred.
The first indications that the first breach - that of a containment vessel - might have taken place came as early as March 14, when "the containment vessel at the embattled No 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has apparently been breached, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)", resulting in:
TEPCO said the problem could develop into a critical "meltdown" situation, according to Kyodo News, in which fuel rods melt and are destroyed, emitting massive amounts of radioactive materials and substances into the environment.
That now seems certain, and the immediate area around the site is now considered a "hot" zone, which has recently had to be expanded from 25 kilometres to 40, with