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As meltdown of 3 Japan reactors is confirmed, U.N. begins investigation

An international investigation began on Tuesday into the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan after the plant operator released news confirming that three reactors, not one, had melted down.

A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency met with Japanese officials, according to CBC News, and will be touring the plant in the next few days. Though there had been fears that nuclear fuel had melted down in more than one reactor in the complex, on Tuesday Tokyo Electric Power Co. released an analysis that showed that two additional reactors, Units 2 and 3, had also partially melted down soon after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit the north-east coast of Japan.

Fuel in three of the six reactors began to melt down after the massive earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima complex, resulting in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. Tepco said Tuesday that most of the melted fuel in all three reactors was covered in water and that the temperature of the fuel rods was below dangerous levels, according to the Guardian. But questions are being raised about how much Tepco knew and how they handled the disaster.

After inspecting the plant, the IAEA team will report its findings at a meeting of U.N. ministers on June 20.