It's been exactly a year and a day since Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. So, in addition to all the lives lost and communities swept away in northeastern Japan, it's also been almost a year since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was damaged to the point that several of its units lost their cooling capacity, and began to meltdown. If you want to know more about how this tragedy unfolded, and see what events looked like on the ground, then there's probably no better source that PBS's recent Frontline program, "Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown." You can watch it and view related content at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/japans-nuclear-meltdown/
In addition, just a few weeks after the Fukushima disaster began, Control columnist and consultant Béla Lipták presented a three-part analysis of the plant, described its design and operating problem, and showed how better automation and process control can prevent future tragedies. This series of "Lessons Learned" columns includes:
"The Fukushima Nuclear Accident, Part 1," "Preventing Nuclear Accidents by Automation, Part 2," and "How Automation Can orevent Nuceal Accidents, Part 3."