The world is watching news reports from Japan, awaiting developments at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.
Of particular concern are the spent fuel rods, which ordinarily are immersed in pools of water to reduce heat. The pools and containment structures housing the spent fuel rods have been damaged, allowing radioactive steam to escape into the atmosphere.
Union of Concerned Scientists: Explanation of reactors' function and current crisis
Nuclear Energy Institute: Tracking the crisis
Japan's woes have the U.S. and the rest of the world considering their own risk and re-examining their commitment to nuclear power.
Graphic (c) Nuclear Energy Institute