TEPCO reveals meltdown occurred hours after quake

In what amounts to a relatively stunning revelation, Japan’s Kyodo News has just reported that TEPCO, the nuclear power company in charge of the beleaguered Fukushima nuclear power plant, now claims that reactor number 1 had suffered a meltdown just 16 hours after the March 11 earthquake.

Odder still, the news briefly appeared on the English version of the Kyodo News website around 8p.m., Sunday night Japan time, only to be removed roughly 15 minutes later. The alert was posted not as a linkable html news page, but via a Java script scrolling message at the top of the site. That message has now, inexplicably, disappeared. Despite the quick removal of the news alert we, as well as other veteran journalists, managed to catch the news before it was erased.

As of this writing, no follow-up, amendment, or explanation has been posted, so we can only assume that either the news agency is in the process of launching a more in-depth story, or perhaps some sort of amendment to their initial report is in the offing. Hopefully, a full report explaining the news alert posted on the site will emerge soon.

UPDATE: NHK News (in Japanese) now confirms the story first seen on Kyodo News.

UPDATE 2: The news has now also been reported (in Japanese) by several domestic news agencies including Nikkei, Yomiuri and others.

UPDATE 3: The original Kyodo News story has now reappeared on the site here.

photo by snowlet on flickr

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May 15th, 2011

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z3n

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