Here's something I don't understand though... you've got a reactor core that was just hit by an earthquake. So, as part of your emergency measures, you drop control rods in, and then, because of a stray tsunami ruining your day, you've got no backup power. This leaves you in a bad spot because the core is still quite hot and it's creating immense amounts of steam, which is building in pressure to a point where something is going to fail - catastrophically, spectacularly and in a way that really fucks with people's day.
So you've got pumps which have no power and all this steam which is building up... if only there were, oh I don't know, a turbine or something that you could funnel that excess steam through, so that you could generate the power to drive the pumps.
I understand that, because of the earthquake and the high potential that something's been damaged, that letting the reactor continue to generate power at full steam would be a Bad Thing. ie. That removing the control rods immediately after the quake is not something considered to be a good idea.
What I don't understand is why it wouldn't have been possible to allow the turbine to continue operating, even at the limited capacity that a "shut down" core would provide? Why could they not have used the "shut down" reactor to power its own pumps?
Obviously it's too late, but I'm still left wondering at what technical glitch prevented that, because I have a hard time believing that it could have simply been an oversight.