Early Friday morning, northern Japan was rocked by its biggest-ever earthquake: the 9.1 Sendai earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake and tsunami have largely done their damage, with many hundreds of dead reported as of now. Still looming is the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima I nuclear power plant, where at least one reactor has experienced a partial meltdown due to lack of backup cooling. Below is a great explanation of the situation from the Los Angeles Times.
I wonder how this terrifying event will change Japan’s already-fragile support of nuclear energy.
Japan Q&A: What caused the blast at nuclear plant, and what are officials doing to avert a meltdown?The cause of the explosion isn’t yet clear, but the nuclear plant has lost the ability to cool its hot uranium fuel. Seawater is being pumped into the reactor containment vessel and radiation levels outside the reactor are decreasing.