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Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering Briefing on the Japan nuclear crisis

In response to the confusion, speculation and apprehension surrounding the rapidly unfolding events at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the aftermath of last week's earthquake and tsunami, a panel of MIT nuclear engineering, public health and risk assessment specialists convened on Tuesday to explain how the reactors work, what we know about what has taken place there so far, and how to put the risks to the population in proper perspective.

In introducing the panel discussion, Richard Lester, head of the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), said that “we've been taking in a lot of information, much of it I'm afraid not very good, but really what we wanted to do here is give an opportunity for people to ask questions” in order to get a realistic picture of what is known about the troubled reactors. After initial presentations by the panelists, the bulk of the session was devoted to answering questions from the audience.

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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