The Japan Times reported today:
The water cooling the core of the crippled Fukushima power plant’s No. 2 reactor is only 60 cm deep, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday, all but confirming experts’ fears that the unit is breached and can’t hold its coolant.
The utility, better known as Tepco, made the discovery by mechanically inserting a 20-meter endoscope into the primary containment vessel to check its coolant level after failing in January. Water must constantly cover the nuclear fuel core to prevent the rods from melting. The rods in a boiling water reactor of this type are about 4 meters long.
This raises the question of whether portions of the reactor’s fuel rods are still exposed to the atmosphere. TEPCO plans to check radiation levels in Unit 2 tomorrow.
Here’s a link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120327b6.html