So, it’s official, there was a melt-down at Fukishima, although they are mincing words:

Japanese authorities have admitted the possibility that the fuel suffered “melt-through” …

Some are calling a “melt-down” something different than what I’m used to, as in the wikipedia entry:

Nuclear meltdown is an informal term for a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating.

I disagree. A melt-down means the nuclear material melts and is so hot it continues downward, melting through the containment vessel, the building, until the earth below is reached, also melts, at least to some extent. That’s my informal definition and I’m sticking to it (and I won’t bother to try and fix the Wikipedia entry).

The term “melt-down” is all the better because it connotes things having gone to hell in a hand-basket, here both literally and figuratively.


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