Is Japan crisis becoming a slow meltdown? No, says US Energy secretary. (video)
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 â€śbleed and feedâ€ť process being used to address the emergency was the equivalent of â€“ and would do as much damage as â€“ a meltdown.
Bleed and feed, Chu said, describes the process being used by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. to cool the reactor core â€“ where â€śyou put in fresh water and you release some steam.â€ť
A Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Chu said, â€śIt is not as though you are just going to a slow meltdown. You have reached steady state.â€ť But he added, â€śWeâ€™d prefer not to be releasing the steam.â€ť The concern is that the escaping steam carries radioactive particles.