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March 20, 2011

All six of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant are Generation II boiling water reactors of GE design. The oldest is about 40 years old. Unlike the Chernobyl reactor, these reactors have two strong features designed to contain any accident or mishap, in addition to the thick steel pressure vessel.

From this natural disaster, we can learn that properly built nuclear plants can withstand powerful earthquakes and tsunamis. But backup cooling systems and any on-site cooling pools must be protected from any after effects of an earthquake. Cooling pools should be separated from the reactors.


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