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In case anyone thinks that the heat output of the damaged fuel in the reactor is still as high as it was in the first hour of the accident then I strongly suggest you send them to the following web site.
The temperature inside the three severely damaged reactors would, of course, be lower if a large amount of the core fuel has melted completely through the containment vessels. Reports of huge cracks in the ground about the reactor buildings back in august, plus steam venting from these 20 and 30 foot deep fissures would seem to support the notion that at least some of the fuel has escaped, melting down beneath the reactors, hitting the water table.
The data I was providing a link to is a computer prediction of the thermal power output of the fuel.
From what I know of the accident the reactors stayed hot for many days, also the fact that the temperture gauges on the bottom continued to work suggests to me that the majority of the fuel has remained inside the reactor vessel. If the fuel had melted through the bottom I would expect the event to cut the cables for the thermocouples.
Also the shortlived xenon isotopes formed by the random fission of curium continue to be detected confirms that much of the fuel is still inside the reactor building.
I suspect with the core melting that the fuel has formed a big lump at the bottom.
I know that during an event like Fukushima a lot of different reports start to circulate. I would like to know where you read that the fuel had melted deep into the ground.
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