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NRC Thinks Japan Unit Pressure Vessel Damaged, Markey Says

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission thinks the reactor in unit 2 of Japan’s disabled power plant got so hot it “probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel,” U.S. Representative Edward Markey said.

Martin Virgilio, the agency’s deputy director for reactor and preparedness programs, told reporters after a House hearing today that the commission doesn’t think the “core has breached,” which would let radiation escape. The commission gets reports several times a day from agency staff in Japan and none mentioned a breach, he said.