Just a quick note of a couple of follow-up pieces on the Fukushima accident which appeared this week.
First off there is a WHO report looking at the likely long-term health effects of the accident. I've clearly not read the whole report but there is a good summary of the main findings on Nature News here and here. The main thrust is that, as has always been said, the radiation effects on the affected citizens are likely to be negligible and far outweighed by the psychological trauma.
Secondly Robert Cringely in his blog I, Cringely writes about what he sees as the inevitability of a further major accident at Fukushima — and one which may be far worse. Basically his contention is that a further large earthquake is inevitable before the Japanese manage to clean up the exposed fuel rods from Reactor 4. No only is this a huge project in its own right but Cringely maintains it will be made worse by the totally dysfunctional way in which Japanese business works (or rather doesn't work). It makes chilling reading; let's just hope he's wrong.