Denton and Mattson met the press. George Troffer, a Met Ed
official, had already told a reporter the bubble was essentially gone.
acknowledged a "dramatic decrease in bubble size," but cautioned that
more sophisticated analyses were needed "to be sure that the equations
that are used to calculate bubble size properly include all effects."
As to the bubble's potential for explosion,
told reporters "the oxygen generation rate that I was assuming
yesterday when I was reporting on the potential detonation inside the
vessel is, it now appears, to have been too conservative." Throughout
the press conference, Denton continued to refer to NEC's estimates as
too conservative; he never stated outright that NEC had erred in its
conclusion that the bubble was near the dangerous point.120
According to Mattson, the tone of the press conference -- its
vagueness and imprecision -- was decided upon at a meeting of NRC
officials Monday morning.
We wanted to go
slow on saying it was good news. We wanted to say it is good news,
do not panic, we think we have got it under control, things look
better, but we did not want to firmly and finally conclude that
there was no problem. We had to save some wiggle room in order to
preserve credibility. That was our judgement."121