February 28, 2012 A small group of engineers, soldiers and firemen risked their own lives to help prevent a complete meltdown after the quake and tsunami hit. Investigative reporter Dan Edge chronicles the aftermath of the disaster in a new Frontline documentary.
June 20, 2011 In new reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Japanese government highlight the hazardous working conditions, lack of communication and last-ditch efforts by workers to contain meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Early confusion among the leadership was also a problem.
April 12, 2011 Though Fukushima and Chernobyl are both level 7 nuclear accidents, the consequences in Japan to date are much less severe. In part, that's because far more radiation was released at Chernobyl.
April 12, 2011 The Japanese government raised its assessment of the crisis at Japan's stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to the highest possible level. And it could take more than 10 years and $10 billion to clean it up. Though engineers know how to handle the basic operations, nobody's ever tried a nuclear cleanup on this scale before.
April 7, 2011 The violent shaking from Japan's March 11 earthquake stirred up the soil, leading to broken water pipes, tilted utility poles and manholes that popped out of the ground. The phenomenon, known as liquefaction, was particularly noticeable in areas built on land reclaimed from the sea.
April 6, 2011 Experts say that in the weeks following the series of explosions and fires inside the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, TEPCO made very costly — and avoidable — mistakes. The company, they say, was deeply surprised and overwhelmed by the course of events.
April 5, 2011 "Safe" isn't a defined engineering term. Planners must decide, based on risks and probabilities, how safe they want to make something — whether it's an airplane, bridge, or nuclear power plant. But sometimes it's hard to estimate exactly what the likelihood of a particular calamity might be.
March 31, 2011 A timeline of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which has leaked radiation since it was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
March 24, 2011 The shadowy, grainy images bring home in a visceral way the challenges that workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant face, including the very basic obstacle of working in the dark.
March 23, 2011 Workers in Japan want to look inside three troubled reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. But intense radiation inside the buildings means that it is too dangerous for them to enter. One solution? Robots. They're good at going places where people just don't want to go. And they could be at the site in a matter of days.
March 18, 2011 Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant hasn't been rocked by major incident in a couple of days. But the situation hasn't really improved, either. Are we in a "race against time," as the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog put it, or can we start to breathe easier as time goes on? The answer seems to be: It depends.
March 17, 2011 Dozens of people at and around the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant reportedly have been decontaminated after exposure to radioactive material. So what's involved in decontamination, and how do you know if it's needed?
March 17, 2011 Any radiation released in a plume from the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan would be diluted before it reached the West Coast of the U.S., a radiation expert says. Taking lessons from the Chernobyl disaster, scientists can approximate how radiation will travel in the atmosphere.
March 17, 2011 Japan's nuclear crisis has raised fears about nuclear power around the world, including in the U.S. But advocates of nuclear power say new technology could allay many of those fears. It's possible to build reactors that are much less vulnerable to a meltdown — even if they're abandoned in an emergency.