Fukushima: What's the worst that could happen? Nuclear experts explain.

"The probability of this occurring is hard to calculate primarily because of the possibility of what are called common-cause accidents, where the loss of offsite power and of onsite power are caused by the same thing. In this case, it was the earthquake and tsunami. So we're in uncharted territory, we're in a land where probability says we shouldn't be. And we're hoping that all of the barriers to release of radioactivity will not fail."

Physicist Ken Bergeron, who has performed research on nuclear reactor accident simulation at Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico, in Scientific American.

(image: on-air explanation of the current status of reactors at Fukushima plants 1 and 2, on NHK TV Japan, via Joi)