Last night I stayed up kind of late watching coverage of the tragedy in Japan and much of that coverage was on the danger of the nuclear situation there. After a few shows and many an animated graphic, I had a solid grasp. Here's the gist:
- Each of the 6 (!) reactors have an inner containment casing surrounding the reactor core, and an outer reactor casing.
- 3 of the reactors were offline for maintenance and contained no reactor cores.
- The remaining went offline with quake for safety.
- ALL six of the reactor buildings contain spent nuclear fuel rods, cooled by water, contained only by the outer walls.
- Because of quake damage, maintaining water levels has been a problem.
- Due to 2 explosions and 2 fires, outer walls of 3 reactors are severely breached (like the whole roof and most of the walls of #3)
- ALL 6 of the reactors pose varying levels of problems and concern.
- The local utility company TEPCO has a jaded history of not quite reporting the severity of situations.
Yeah, that about sums it up.
So imagine my surprise (and gag reflex) when I switched on Fox News for less than five minutes to see Doocy talking to William Tucker, author:
I paraphrase, but his assertion was thus: "Basically one reactor has a crack in it and might vent some steam, but it'll just dissipate. We've got 6000 miles of ocean between us and there's no reason for anyone in the US to panic or even be worried."
Take all that exposition above along with the fact that the closest point between Japan and Sarah Palin's Alaska is 660 miles and, well, you wonder why Fox News viewers operate like barely-functional vegetables.