The Future of Nuclear Energy One Year After the Fukushima Meltdown

Friday, March 09, 2012

 Japanese government announced the cold shutdown on stricken TEPCO Fukushima nuclear power plant. Greenpeace activists protest against nuclear plants in front of the prime minister's office in Tokyo. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty)

One year ago this Sunday a massive earthquake devastated northeast Japan. The Japanese barely had time to catch their breath before waves of water 30 feet high crashed down on the coast. Twenty-thousand people died; 90,000 were evacuated. The natural disasters were soon followed by a nuclear crisis. In the year since the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan has had to face difficult questions on the state of their nuclear regulations and the country’s energy future.

How have Japan's energy policies changed? What lessons has the U.S. learned from the Fukushima disaster? David Biello, associate editor of environment and energy at Scientific American, joins us to answer these questions.


David Biello

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [2]

Paul Dobbs from New Hampshire

Thank you David Biello and John Hockenberry for a balanced year-later assessment, but one point that David Biello raises to support the idea that Fukishima wasn't as bad as we may think, is unfortunately not worth as much as we may think either. Yes, it's great that no one seems to have died, and we hope and pray that no one will die as a result of Fukishima in the future. Unfortunately the odds are that over the next decade many many people WILL die as a result of limited exposure to radiation. Consider that an exhaustive 18-year study by the New York Academy of Sciences determined that more than a million people died as a consequence of Chernobyl. Hundreds of thousands died AFTER the first year.

Mar. 09 2012 07:38 PM
carl, queens, n.y.

everybody takes comfort in the fact that hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated without the loss of a single life... never once does anybody mention the cats, dogs and all the other household pets along with all the livestock, cows,etc., that were left to die a slow,''lonely'' death from a lack of food, water,medical attention and last but not least, radiation poisoning... mans foley, and once again the animals are left to pick up the tab... at this very moment, they are roaming the streets in a stuper, waiting to drop...

Mar. 09 2012 07:02 AM

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