Japan’s nuclear crisis has now reached a critical stage, as radiation from the melting cores of the Fukushima plant is hindering the containment efforts of workers and engineers. Could a disaster of the same magnitude occur in the US? According to The Nation’s Christian Parenti, the nuclear power plants here in America are poorly managed and regulated.

Joining The Ed Show on MSNBC, Parenti explained that there are currently 104 nuclear plants up for re-licensing in the US, most of which are around 40 years old. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not only looking to extend their use beyond their designed lifetimes, but many have been given “power upgrades,” allowing them to run at 120 percent of their designed and intended capacity. Particularly vulnerable to Japan-level crises are US plants built along the San Andreas and associated fault lines, which are still active. It’s time all of them were taken out of commission.

—Sara Jerving