The Japanese government has admitted that three reactors experienced full meltdowns, not partial meltdowns as previously reported. Contrary to what TEPCO, the company that owns the Fukushima plants said in the past, the Japan's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said on Monday that each of the three reactors experienced a full meltdown within hours of the earthquake and tsunami.
The tragic events in March caused the reactors to overheat, causing multiple frenzied efforts to keep a meltdown at bay. Tokyo Electric apparently tried to play down the seriousness of the situation, avoiding the use of the word "meltdown" in any descriptions of what happened there. However, Gary Was, University of Michigan nuclear engineering professor, doubts that TEPCO has been completely honest. He told CNN, "On the basis of what they showed, if there's not fuel left in the core, I don't know what it is other than a complete meltdown," he believes the same happened to the other reactors. "It's hard to imagine the scenarios can differ that much for those reactors."
Fukushima Number 1 blew its roof the day after the earthquake, which indicates a full core meltdown, but at the time, authorities would not admit this is what happened. Now, however, the truth seems to be out.
As a result of this, some countries are reconsidering their dependence on nuclear energy. Germany is one of them. Recently, the European nation disavowed the alternative fuel and vowed to completely switch off its nuclear reactors by 2022. In order to accomplish this, Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to cut electricity usage by 10 percent by 2020, and double the number of renewable energy sources to 35 percent during the same time frame.
Perhaps the Fukushima meltdowns were actually a good thing, in that they have shown the world just how volatile and dangerous this energy source can be.
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