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As I understand, the hydrogen is produced by water thermolysis, which need quite high temperature. This temperature is close to previously observed corium temperatures. So:

  1. Is the eutectic temperature of the corium of those type of reactors known and publicly accessible?
  2. Isn't the hydrogen presence a proof of meltdown?
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The same question was asked some minutes later, but I saw that one first.

  1. Eutectic is quite irrelevant here, do You think that the uranium dioxide with some % of fission products happens to be a eutectic mix? The probablity of that might be calculatable with the aid of a bistromatic drive computer. Uranium dioxide melts around 2300 °C, the fission products will be only partly miscible with it, so I'd say melting point will be >2000°C

  2. The Zirconium metal of the fuel tubes reacts with water vapor at elevated temperatures (above 1200 °C if I remember correctly) The reaction is simply: Zr + 2 H2O => ZrO2 + 2 H2 This is proof, that parts (at least) of the fuel rods were not immersed in water, but it does not prove melting.

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