(NaturalNews) As experts continue to search for feasible ways to enter the stricken Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan without causing further damage or exposing workers to deadly levels of radiation, the mainstream media is finally admitting that the plant's reactor cores did, indeed, experience meltdowns.
After years of denial and coverup, it is now being openly but quietly admitted that the three damaged reactors cores are most likely completely destroyed. But because of the level of damage involved, workers still have no idea just how bad things really are, and it could be months or even years before anyone has any solid answers.
"Inside the complex, there are three wrecked reactor cores, twisted masses of hundreds of tons of highly radioactive uranium, plutonium, cesium and strontium," wrote Matthew L. Wald for The New York Times (NYT). "Nobody really knows [the true level of damage], because nobody has yet examined many of the most important parts of the wreckage."
These are powerful admissions that cast the situation at Fukushima as much more dire than we've all been led to believe. At this point, there is still no word on just how much the reactor cores melted, though we know that three of them did. And there is still no technology effective enough to penetrate the thick concrete and steel walls that hold it all in.
"Engineers do not have enough data to even run a computer model that could tell them how much of the reactor cores are intact and how much of them melted, because the measurement systems inside the buildings were out of commission for days after the accident," added Wald.
This is quite different from the media's prior insistence that the reactor cores are still intact, a claim that was also made by the plant's operator. As you may recall, it came out last fall that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had been deliberately using faulty testing equipment to minimize the reported levels of leaking radiation.
New imaging technology aims to assess extent of reactor core meltdown damage
Since that time, media reports have had to admit that radiation from all the damage at the plant is, put plainly, spewing out any way it can. And the worst is probably yet to come inside the buildings where the melted reactor cores are located, which is why contractors are busy working on a method of detecting interior activity that will provide the necessary data for a solid remediation plan.
"There is a similarity to X-ray, but the details of the physics are different," stated Dr. Duncan W. McBranch, chief technology officer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where special, custom-made tools are now being developed to map out the interiors of the reactors, to NYT.
Dr. McBranch and his team are currently working with Toshiba to develop a special imaging technology that detects muons, subatomic particles that may help in the creation of three-dimensional images of the reactor cores. Muons, as explained by NYT, change direction when they react with atomic nuclei, providing information about the target's size and density.
"I would expect to be able to distinguish fairly readily between what would be described as random results from the meltdown, versus engineered structural components," explained Stanton D. Sloane, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Decision Sciences International, a company that already uses the technology to detect the contents of shipping containers.
For Fukushima, the detectors will be placed a few feet away from the reactor buildings' outside walls, allowing for muons to pass through them without interference. After a couple of weeks, the team says it should have enough information to make an accurate assessment of the level of damage caused by the meltdowns.