Japan Earthquake 2011: Catastrophic Radiation Chance Is 50-50, Says Nuclear Expert

03/15/2011 10:13 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan is continuing to deteriorate. Multiple explosions have blown roofs and outer walls off reactor buildings, and a dire struggle is under way to prevent the worst.

For several days, authorities have attempted to reassure the public. Now, they are pleading for help.

To get independent answers about the risks faced by people, GlobalPost turned to Arnold Gundersen, a 39-year veteran of the nuclear industry. Now chief engineer at Fairwinds Associates, he has worked as a nuclear plant operator and he served as an expert witness in the investigation into the Three Mile Island accident.

GlobalPost: Officials have said the possibility of a large-scale radiation release is small. Do you agree?

Arnold Gundersen: I think that the probability of a large scale release is about 50-50, and I don’t call that small.

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