We focus on how the Japanese government and utility company failed to inform the public, and could not control events at a reactor. Exactly what always happens.
They had been warned this would happen, but did nothing. The same is true of a series of American reactors, with the same design, and the same vulnerabilities. If the electricity is shut down, for any reason, from ice storms, to earthquakes to terrorism, these plants can melt down. The result, as we see, is mass evacuations and health risks. Can that region ever be re-inhabited?
Will radioactivity be carried to the North American West Coast? Or elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere?
Essential information citizens need to know, about emergencies, about authorities withholding vital information, about the risks we face.
Separate segments on reactor risks in USA and Canada, plus a tiny bit on European reaction (more to come on that).
Nicole Foss blogs as "Stoneleigh" on "The Automatic Earth" (in the top 10 financial blogs on the Net). She studied nuclear affairs, and published on the Chernobyl reactor accident. We reached her in Eastern Europe.
Shawn Patrick is a nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace Canada, where the government fired a regulator demanding a backup power system for a failed reactor, before it was reopened.
The nuclear nightmare revisited.