According to the Washington Post, the situation inside the reactors is grim.
Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor.
Particles from melted fuel have probably sent radiation levels up to dangerously high 70 sieverts per hour inside the container, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Other points to note: (1) there is only about two feet of water in the containment vessel, which fortunately has already cooled off quite a bit; (2) they chose this reactor to inspect in part because the radiation level was thought to be relatively low compared to the others, (3) entirely new equipment will have to be designed in order to decommission the reactor, a process that may take decades.
I would really like nuclear power to be safe and affordable. It would solve so many other problems. But that hope seems to be fading.