According to The Nation‘s Christian Parenti, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s "culture" of bowing to industry demands prevents it from keeping plants truly safe. As President Obama once said, the NRC is a "captive" of the industry.

Joining MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, Parenti explains that Japan’s nuclear crisis should make us think about the dangers lurking in our own nuclear facilities. Decades-old nuclear power plants are currently being relicensed for years of further use, even as they fail to meet today’s safety standards, Parenti explains. The plants are also obtaining permission to forgo routine maintenance. This leads to near-disasters such as the Ohio plant that just happened to discover a football-size hole in a containment vessel.

—Kevin Gosztola