Worrying about radiation is not crazy. But the invisible poison is everywhere. We can take measures to protect ourselves – avoiding too many dental X-rays in one year or trying to test and skip food products that have trace amounts. The EPA offers a calculator for determining if you’re at greater risk for radiation exposure. It asks about the elevation of your home, the external structure, your medical treatments.

But public-policy development is more essential than private fretting and protections, notes Jeffrey Lewis of the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Citizens would be wise and safe to monitor the locations of nuclear power plants, the safety and emergency procedures, the staff training, the investments. It was most alarming to learn from the New York Times that many of the staff at Fukushima were temporary contract workers.

In any industry, we must determine our priorities and goals – and make tough choices before accidents happen. Click here to view a map of reactor storage pools.

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