This one is going to meltdown. The big question is whether they can cool the core off fast enough to prevent any (additional) major release of radiation… Hopefully, they can prevent another Chernobyl. Apparently, they have already lost some workers, either badly injured or killed courageously trying to get this back under control.
This is despite the best building codes and system in the world to prevent just the sort of damage we are seeing from an earthquake or natural disaster. Because earthquakes are so common in Japan, major structures and buildings are designed to extremely high standards – higher than the US California Standards, which are the best in the US and generally accepted in much of the world. The fact that (possibly) only a few thousand people have been killed in an earthquake an order of magnitude stronger than that which hit Haiti is due to that. Most of the victims are likely from the Tsunami, despite the fact that a number of the towns and villages in the area have 10-30′ seawalls designed to protect them from just such an occurance.
To understand how violent this earthquake was, geographic sources are now reporting that the coastline of Japan was actually moved 8 feet! And shifted the entire planet on it’s axis by 4 inhces!
25 Years ago, a reactor outside of Detroit, Michigan had an “incident”…