ENERGY: A Nuclear Horror

Of all the disasters that could be caused by a severe earthquake, perhaps none is so frightening as the destruction of a nuclear power plant. Ruptured by the heaving of the once solid ground, it would release radioactive particles into the air. There, they could form a colorless, odorless cloud that would contaminate everything in its path, poisoning the land, killing some people, causing cancer in others.

To guard against this horror, the now disbanded Atomic Energy Commission and its successor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, have enforced strict rules. All atomic power...