First, an account from someone living in Japan. The moral of the story is that disaster is something Japan has trained for, and in many ways they are better prepared for crisis management than most of us here in the US.
Next, the person above links to an explanation of how Japan’s nuclear reactors work and the safeguards in place. This is well worth your time to read. Even in the face of absolutely catastrophic disaster, the danger presented by the these reactors is pretty small. Educate yourself, then the next time you read a sensational headline ponder this:
I have been reading every news release on the incident since the earthquake. There has not been one single (!) report that was accurate and free of errors (and part of that problem is also a weakness in the Japanese crisis communication). By “not free of errors” I do not refer to tendentious anti-nuclear journalism – that is quite normal these days. By “not free of errors” I mean blatant errors regarding physics and natural law, as well as gross misinterpretation of facts, due to an obvious lack of fundamental and basic understanding of the way nuclear reactors are build and operated. I have read a 3 page report on CNN where every single paragraph contained an error.
Now let’s pray for the recovery of those affected in Japan, and if you’re so moved donate to the Red Cross.