90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan Raises Severity Rating Of Country’s Nuclear Crisis

A satellite image shows Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan. (AP/DigitalGlobe)

A satellite image shows Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan. (AP/DigitalGlobe)

The Los Angeles Times reports that U.S. government nuclear experts believe there’s now a hole or crack in the wall of the spent fuel rod storage pool in Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima power plant, a problem the Union of Concerned Scientists says “has no precedent.”

USA Today reports that in essence there are three outcomes. In the best case scenario, the plant is ruined, but high radiation releases are avoided. Under option two, a significant amount of radiation is released from spent fuel ponds, but contamination is limited to the area around the plant. The third and worst case scenario is a full meltdown, where the nuclear fuel pellets melt through all of the containment structures at the reactor and release radioactive materials into the earth and possibly the atmosphere.

We speak with nuclear power critic Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

We now have a digital bookshelf! Explore all our books coverage or browse by genre.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

January 22 Comment

The Playwright Behind ‘Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike’

Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning comedy is currently being performed in 27 regional theaters across the U.S.

January 22 25 Comments

EdX CEO Lays Out Disruptive Vision For Higher Ed

Anant Agarwal believes MOOCs — massive online courses — can be a disruptive force for good in higher education.

January 21 22 Comments

What Happens When Your Sibling Makes More Than You?

Sociologist Dalton Conley explains what it means for family dynamics when one sibling is significantly richer or poorer.

January 21 2 Comments

Obama’s Proposal On Inequality: Is It Enough?

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz offers his take on the president's plan and whether it goes too far or not far enough.