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Special Report

The Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crisis

On March 11, a powerful, magnitude 9.0 quake hit northeastern Japan, triggering a tsunami with 10-meter-high waves that reached the U.S. west coast. Here's the science behind the disaster

How Radiation Threatens Health

As worries grow over radiation leaks at Fukushima, is it possible to gauge the immediate and lasting health effects of radiation exposure? Here's the science behind radiation sickness and other threats facing Japan

March 15, 2011 — Nina Bai

What Happens During a Nuclear Meltdown?

Nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi station in Japan are critically endangered but have not reached full meltdown status. Our nuclear primer explains what that means and how the situation compares with past nuclear accidents

March 15, 2011 — John Matson

How to Cool a Nuclear Reactor

Japan's devastating earthquake caused cooling problems at one of the nation's nuclear reactors, and authorities scrambled to prevent a meltdown

March 11, 2011 — David Biello

Beware the fear of nuclear....FEAR!

It is frightening to watch what’s going on with Japan’s nuclear plant at Fukushima. It is also worrying to watch the fear racing around the world as a result of those events, fear that in some cases is far in excess of what’s going on, or even the worst case scenarios of what might happen.

March 12, 2011 — David Ropeik