Bad juju continues at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The temporary pressure gauge that the workers braved the high radiation to set up on June 22 in the Reactor 2's reactor building are not working properly, and TEPCO is unable to confirm the water level inside the Reactor Pressure Vessel, or whether there's any water inside.
From NHK World English (6/25/2011):
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it still cannot obtain accurate data on the water level and pressure of the Number 2 reactor. It says a provisional measuring device installed earlier this week is not operating properly.
Tokyo Electric Power Company believes that readings by the original device are incorrect due to damage suffered in the March disaster.
Workers at the utility company entered the Number 2 reactor building and installed the provisional gauge on Wednesday. The company initially planned to have the gauge begin providing data on Thursday.
But it says as of Saturday, the device is not yet working properly.
TEPCO says this is because the temperature near the reactor containment vessel is so high that water inside the device's pipes has evaporated.
Fuel meltdowns are believed to have occurred at the Number 1 through Number 3 reactors, leading to a possibility that there is little water left inside the Number 2 reactor.
Accurate measurement of the water level is essential for ensuring stable cooling of the reactor.
The utility is struggling to find ways to activate the device.
Just like AP's article, NHK World continues to talk about "cooling of the reactor" as if the fuel is still inside the reactor. NHK also says "fuel meltdowns", as if it were only fuel that melted down. Maybe it's the peculiarity of the Japanese language, of avoiding to use precise words out of politeness or tact, but in this nuclear accident it has served to obfuscate the situation and strangely mollify people's fear, delaying proper response.
Now we've heard news on the Reactors 1, 2 and 3 in recent days. Haven't heard much about the Reactor 4. Another minor thing I've noticed is that TEPCO has stopped disclosing the survey map (aka "contamination map") of the plant. The last one posted on TEPCO's site is dated June 5. It's been issued every week since March 23.