It is hard to watch videos of the massive destruction in Japan.
Perhaps because action video of the tsunami was so instantly available, it seems even worse than the disastrous Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 2004.
And, in one sense, what happened in Japan is a whole lot worse – because of damage to six nuclear reactors.
Most ominously, all three reactors at the Fukushima plant shut down and lost their cooling functions, causing nuclear fusion rods to overheat.
One reactor is under control. But engineers are working frantically to prevent a nuclear meltdown in the other two, one of which has already had an explosion. Meanwhile, 170,000 residents have been evacuated from the area to protect them from possible release of a radioactive plume.
If that’s bad news for the people of Japan, it’s even worse news for the nuclear power industry.
Just when nukes were starting to make a comeback in popular opinion, we are suddenly reminded just how risky they are.
The last order for a nuclear power plant in the United States was in 1973. After what happened in Japan, I don’t think we’ll see another order, anytime soon.
That’s my parting shot for today.