Understanding the nature of the Japanese nuclear crisis

UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF THE JAPANESE NUCLEAR CRISIS…. After seeing the devastation caused by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it seemed unfathomable that a second shoe would drop, which could prove to be even deadlier. But with an ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the threats facing Japan are far from over.

For those of us whose understanding of nuclear issues lacks detail or depth — a group I’m admittedly a part of — I found Rachel Maddow’s summary last night extremely helpful.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

If you can’t watch clips from your work computer, or if you’re looking for a little more in the way of details, this step-by-step visual report from the Washington Post is also excellent.

For ongoing coverage, Matt Yglesias flagged several worthwhile online outlets, including a blog from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s own blog.

As for the politics, it’s tempting to think the crisis would undermine policymakers’ drive to expand U.S. nuclear power. Dave Weigel reported last night that developments in Japan have not, as of yet, affected officials’ support for new nuclear power plants.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation