"The international nuclear watchdog warned Japan in 2008 that powerful earthquakes could be too strong for their nuclear reactors, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks Tuesday night."
The aging fleet of US nuclear power reactors have some technological similarities to the reactors failing in Japan. Could similar loss-of-cooling events happen at some US reactors — whether caused by earthquake, tsunami, terrorist attack, electrical outage, flooding, equipment failure, or some other problem?
"In nearly a third of the states with nuclear power plants, nearby residents do not have the protection of federally-supplied potassium iodide pills for treatment in the event of a radiation crisis like that in Japan."
"Europe's energy chief Tuesday raised the prospect of a nuclear-free future and said the 27-nation bloc is considering 'stress testing' its nuclear power stations to check they can cope with crises."
"If the containment at the nuclear power plant damaged by Japan's devastating earthquake fails, a potential radiation plume from a full core meltdown could reach Tokyo, a U.S. scientists' organization said on Tuesday."
"Japan's nuclear crisis intensified dramatically on Wednesday after the authorities announced that a second reactor unit at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan may have ruptured and appeared to be releasing radioactive steam."
"The Japanese government reported early Wednesday that a fire was burning at the No. 4 reactor of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan."
"California will experience unthinkable damage when the next powerful quake strikes, probably within 30 years, even though the state prides itself on being on the leading edge of earthquake science."
"The warnings were stark and issued repeatedly as far back as 1972: If the cooling systems ever failed at a Mark 1 nuclear reactor, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would probably burst as the fuel rods inside overheated. Dangerous radiation would spew into the environment."
"The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was invited to the White House briefing today to assure Americans that they had nothing to fear from the nuclear radiation coming out of Japan's damaged reactors and that the nuclear reactors in the United States were safe. When he was finished taking questions there was very little reassurance on either front." In Japan, residents are beginning to wonder whether they can trust government reassurances that radiation levels present little threat to human health.