Japan’s Edano: reactor fuel rods melt, contaminate water

TOKYO (Reuters) – The high level of radiation in water flooding the basement of a building housing the No.2 reactor at Japan’s tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is likely to be due to melted fuel rods, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Monday.

“The radiation seems to have come from fuel rods that temporarily melted down and came in contact with the water used to cool the reactor,” Edano told a news conference. “Steam may have condensed … carrying water from within the containment vessel.”

His response suggested there was no crack in the reactor containment vessel.

“The air-borne radiation is mainly contained within the reactor building. We must make sure this water does not seep out into the soil or out to sea,” he said.

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Michael Watson)

Japan’s Edano: reactor fuel rods melt, contaminate water