Informing ourselves about Japan's damaged nuclear reactor

Along with the rest of the world, I have been following the events following the terrible disaster of the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.  The situation at the damaged nuclear power plant in northern Japan is changing rapidly and there is a lot of news coverage.  However there seems to be a lot of discussion of worst case scenarios instead of learning what is actually happening at the plant and the causes of the problems.

Even if we are not nuclear engineers or radiation specialists, I think it is important to inform ourselves of the basic facts of the situation.  We can then help inform the general public, increasing scientific literacy in general and helping people understand the potential risks of nuclear energy without immediately vilifying it.

Here are a few resources:
International Atomic Energy Agency

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

A good summary of the events through March 12


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