When one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded hit parts of Japan on March 11, followed by a massive tsunami, the global community was shaken. Updates came via television news reports and internet citizen reporters, captured images on cameras and cell phones. The visuals and impact were devastating: waves took over streets, homes and buildings, instantly destroying communities and taking lives.
Akira Tokuhiro, professor of nuclear and mechanical engineering based at the University of Idaho-Idaho Falls, paid close attention in the hours and days that followed, especially after the “double whammy”, as he puts it, got even worse. As rescue crews worked to find the people lost in the rubble, feed the hungry and find shelter for those without, the threat from a nuclear power plant problem in Fukushima was starting to rise.