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Japan Tries To Reconnect Power To Nuclear Plant

GUY RAZ, Host:

And, Richard, first, can you give us a quick update on what's been going on at the nuclear power plant?

RICHARD HARRIS: But barring a crisis, the repairs they're making now should very gradually let the workers get the situation more firmly under control.

RAZ: Richard, here in the U.S., it seems like the story has been swinging in wildly different directions. One day, we're told that we're at the brink of disaster or at least a step or two back from the edge. And then now we're hearing that things are better. How does it look from there in Tokyo?

HARRIS: We also struggle to reconcile contradictory information from different agencies, and even the usually very cautious International Atomic Energy Agency's information that it later had to retract or correct. So, and I think the other thing that feeds into this is there's always an understandable tendency to focus on worst-case scenario because everyone wants to know how bad it could be. That is important and useful information.

RAZ: I mean, obviously, the crisis isn't over, Richard. But so far, what is the worst thing that has happened?

HARRIS: Well, the crisis at the power plant still does obviously pale in comparison to the tsunami, which has probably killed well over 10,000 people.

RAZ: Of course, yeah.

HARRIS: And while this is all reassuring, let's remember the situation is not fully under control, and a serious accident could really obviously make a very, very different picture emerge from hearing in the coming days. We'll have to see.

RAZ: Richard, thank you.

HARRIS: My pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.