Exactly what happened and why?  What were the sources of confusion during the first days after the disaster? What were and are the dangers to people in Japan and across the Pacific in the U.S.? All in all, a  presentation designed to separate fact from fantasy.

On March 11, Japan was hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, followed by a tsunami that reached heights of 25 meters in some places along the country’s north coast. Over ten thousand people may have died. About 30{fe681502a50b39155a3ca75d1ea8a550fe0ee8275f6f89ef466f508ac0f80879} of Japan’s electrical power is produced by nuclear reactors, including six reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Those reactors shut down immediately in response to the earthquake, but its emergency generators, which would supply cooling water, were badly damaged by a 14-meter (46-foot) tsunami. Since March 11, the plant operators have been struggling to get the reactors and spent fuel storage pools to a safe condition.


The Speakers

Cheryl RoferFormer Los Alamos National Laboratory Employee.
Cheryl Rofer retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory after a varied career, including work on nuclear fuel cycle issues. She now blogs at Phronesisaical and has been asked by the British Medical Journal to contribute analysis of the Fukushima situation to their blog. She is CEO of Nuclear Diner (nucleardiner.com), a social-networking site on nuclear issues, scheduled to open for business in the early summer.


St. John’s College, Junior Commons Room. On Monday, June 9, 2011, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

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The Visitors Parking Lot is on your left as you enter campus. A few handicapped parking spaces are located at the Visitor’s Circle right in front of the fishpond area and below the Peterson Student Center. A few more are located behind the Peterson Center as follows. Just before the Visitor’s Circle, look for the fork in the road where you would normally drive to the left to get to the Visitors’ Parking Circle just below the Peterson Center. Instead, turn right and follow the drive up to the other parking area. There are two or three handicapped parking spaces on the left. Please note that this parking lot is not open to the public, but handicapped folks are allowed to park in the designated spaces.