The 9.0 Japan earthquake was dire but the current meltdown might have been avoided by new advances in nuclear plant technology.
The circle of seismic activity in the Pacific Ocean, known as the "ring of fire," stretches from Australia to Russia around to Alaska and America's West Coast and down to Chile in South America. It's an area responsible for 90 percent of the world's earthquakes and 75 percent of its volcanoes. So which of the more than 26 nations in the ring has nuclear power? Only three: Japan, of course (more than 50 plants); the United States (eight reactors at four plants); and Mexico (two reactors at one plant). Here's a look at the five non-Japanese plants in the world's most active earthquake zone:
Nuclear power has been something of a sacred cow in France. But the Japan nuclear crisis in the wake of last week's earthquake and tsunami is raising concern even here.
Dozens of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex have stayed behind to end the radiation leaks and prevent a meltdown. They could be the heros of this crisis.
Demi Heranne (l.) and Melanie Aparitio kiss a wax figure of singer Justin Bieber after the unveiling at Madame Tussauds museum in New York.
A month after the March 11, a 9.0 earthquake triggered a 30-foot tsunami that damaged several nuclear reactors in northeastern Japan, causing the country's worst crisis since World War II, a 7.4 temblor shook the country again.
Monday night, radiation levels spiked to dangerous levels, but within hours had fallen to less than 1 percent of that. The radiation exposure so far should not pose a serious threat to humans.
Japan has received offers of assistance from 14 international organizations and 102 countries (including a number of unexpected aid donors such as embattled Afghanistan and poverty-stricken Cambodia), according to the latest report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Japan has accepted help, mostly in the form of search and rescue teams, from 15 countries. Here is an overview of some of the help pouring into Japan as it struggles to dig out from Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami.
A surge of goodwill from Russia to Japan raises the possibility that a territorial dispute between the two countries left over from World War II could finally be resolved.
Japan officials told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that 'radioactivity is being released directly into the atmosphere' after a fire broke out in a storage pond for spent fuel at nuclear reactor damaged by Friday's earthquake and tsunami.