At a Monitor breakfast Friday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu was asked if the 'bleed and feed' process being used in Japan's nuclear emergency was the equivalent of a meltdown.
Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
Speaking Friday at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters, Secretary Chu was asked if the “bleed and feed” process being used to address the emergency was the equivalent of – and would do as much damage as – a meltdown.
Bleed and feed, Chu said, describes the process being used by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. to cool the reactor core – where “you put in fresh water and you release some steam.”
A Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Chu said, “It is not as though you are just going to a slow meltdown. You have reached steady state.” But he added, “We’d prefer not to be releasing the steam.” The concern is that the escaping steam carries radioactive particles.