Japan is reporting that Fukushima nuclear fuel has burned through the containment vessel and is sitting on the concrete foundation of the plant leaking into the groundwater. TEPCO says an underground barrier needed to stop the molten lava from spreading in groundwater will cost too much money and will hurt their stock price.
Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at the Kyoto University says melted fuel from inside the Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the containment vessel and is lying on the concrete foundations, sinking into the ground below. Japanese government officials have echoed this statement and have called on TEPCO to build an underground concrete barrier beneath the reactor which would be the only way to stop the molten fuel that is now leaking into the groundwater.
TEPCO so far is refusing to do so because the cost of the project will be over 100 billion yen. TEPCO is debating whether containing the radiation is worth more than its stock price resisting call to build the barrier because agreeing to the plan would make the company appear to have excess liabilities which would in turn cause their stock price to drop.
TEPCO further “claims” that since the groundwater only moves 5 to 10 centimeters a day they have up to a year before the molten nuclear fuel in the groundwater would hit the shore, so there is no need to rush to make a decision on the underground barrier.
Completely entombing the reactor inside of a concrete building, called the “Chernobyl option” because that is how Chernobyl was handled, appears to be the only way to contain the radiation leaking from the nuclear power plant, which Japan now admits has suffered 100% nuclear meltdowns in 3 reactors and has released an amount of radiation comparable to Chernobyl.
The barrier in question would be part of that final solution, yet TEPCO resists finally bringing the crisis to an end in the name of their stock price.