Rich Galen

A few people know what's going on in those reactors and none of them are talking to American reporters. A few more people know what the engineering issues are as they pertain to those reactors and most of them are in places like Washington, DC and Vienna (the home of the International Atomic Energy Agency).

If you want to follow the goings on in Japan, checking the IAEA website is much smarter than depending upon some off-camera producer's blog. As an example, this was on the IAEA's website last night:

"The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants remains very serious, but there has been no significant worsening since yesterday."

Compare and contrast to MSNBC which, in the graf following their paraphrasing of the IAEA pronouncement, wrote about the work to pour water on the fuel rods: "If the fuel is not fully covered, rising temperatures and pressure will increase the chances of complete meltdowns that would release much larger amounts of radioactive material than the failing plant has emitted so far."

And, if an asteroid should hit the earth in the vicinity of that nuclear plant that would be really, really bad.

I have no idea what is going to happen at that damaged facility. I also have no idea, when the situation is finally brought under control, whether any design, engineering, and/or construction flaws will be found.

I am pretty sure that the citizens of Honolulu and Los Angeles are in zero danger of being irradiated by the steam escaping from the Fukushima plant. Also, according to some studies plutonium is about as toxic as caffeine, but you'd have to drink 1,300 cups of coffee a day to get a lethal dose.

None of which makes for good copy, nor for good TV.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at