This article is from the In-Depth Report 4 Years after Fukushima
60-Second Science

Fukushima Will Be a Wasteland

Scientific American's David Biello judges Fukushima to have reached Chernobyl proportions. Steve Mirsky reports

“We are definitely in uncharted waters, particularly given that the spent fuel pool appears to either not have water or have very little water. It’s completely exposed to the atmosphere.”

David Biello is Scientific American’s energy and environment editor. He appeared earlier today, March 17th, on WNYC radio’s morning program, The Takeaway.

“So if that does indeed begin to melt down, which it seems it may have already done, that radiation would be released directly.”

Even in the best-case scenario from this point onward, is the Fukushima site now a radioactive waste dump for years to come?

“Yes. There’s no question that the contamination is significant. That’s why the workers had to cease their efforts and take cover at various periods. This is going to be like Chernobyl.”

Hear the entire interview at, and go to for continuing coverage of the state of the Fukushima nuclear site in Japan.

—Steve Mirsky

[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

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