These plants have held up pretty well considering. They withstood a 9.0 quake, eventhough they were designed for less. The tsunami is what caused the problems. In addition, the hydrogen explosions wouldn't have happened if the plants would have been here either. After TMI, there was an extensive review of the current plants. In these BWRs, they moved the venting path that originally went from primary to secondary containment to the outside. Obviously, the Japanese plants did not do this. The hydrogen continued to build up in the buildings (venting by procedure) and caused those explosions. The typical containment designs found in the US are filled with watertight doors. There are constant inspections where these are checked to make sure they are closed and that the seal is good. The wave flooded the switchgear room and wiped out many of the diesel tanks. It was a common-cause failure since these plants all shared the same basic design (same weakness). If you worry that much about radiation, you might as well live in a lead room and never leave (eventhough that still wouldn't keep all radiation out). Radiation is everywhere. Everytime you fly or go to higher elevations, you get a larger dose from space. Certain soil types are going to release more radiation, not to mention many stones. You may not know this, but coal plants release much more radiation than any nuke plant (traces of uranium and other products in the coal and goes into the air as it burns). What bothers me is the focus on these plants when how many people have been killed by the disaster??? Why don't people say "Hey, why didn't they design their buildings to withstand a 9.0 quake and a 30' wave??" Many of these people would still be alive if normal constuction was designed/built like a nuke plant. People have asked about the CA plants being in a earthquake area. The quake wasn't the problem (the water was). There has been questions about MOX fuel and that it is "bad" becuase it contains plutonium. The fact is that ALL fuel (after used) contains plutonium. It is a byproduct of the reaction and a good portion of the energy that is released as the fuel gets older is due to using plutonium. There has been a ton of bad info in the NEWS (especially early on, but it continues).