I haven't been online much lately... my "light" semester switching from 2 classes to something closer to 3.5 is getting in the way of having much fun time. However, the disaster in Japan is amazingly engrossing. The earthquake on it's own was amazingly large and the tsunami... well, there's really nothing you can do about things like that. Growing up in Alaska, we were always extremely worried about tsunami and this disaster demonstrates exactly why it's so important. Although if you don't have enough time to get away, there's not a lot to be done.
The whole reaction situation is blowing my mind though. I remember playing Sim City years ago and having and earthquake make reactors melt down. Here's the real life example of that.
I guess that I just didn't really understand the scale of nuclear reactors though. I always sort of assumed that you could shove the moderators into a reactor and it would be radioactive and everything but it would just sort of stop. On the scale though of a real reactor, there's so much heat produced that you need active cooling.
I'm going to make a very morbid prediction now. The Japanese are going to lose the city of Fukushima. I think they're going to manage avoiding too many deaths, but they've lost control of the reactors unless some miracle can be pulled out of their hats in the next couple of hours. The result is going to be a 20 mile circle contaminated with plutonium and all sorts of other nasties where people aren't going to be able to live for the next 1.25 Gyr.
I'm really hoping that I'm wrong though.