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Need to Know, July 15, 2011: California nuclear safety, population control, Gloria Steinem


Could a disaster like the one at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant happen in California? This week on Need to Know, we team up with the Center for Investigative Reporting and Capital Public Radio to investigate if one California nuclear power plant, which lies near two fault lines, would be able to withstand a severe earthquake that seismologists believe may be possible.

Also: Whatever happened to the “zero population growth” movement? On the heels of World Population Day this week, we look back at the fear of overpopulation during the 1960s and 1970s, and speak with two reporters to find out what challenges lie ahead for population control.

And: Feminist icon Gloria Steinem speaks to us about how far the women’s movement has come.

Check your local listings for details.

Watch the individual segments:

Double fault: Nuclear safety at Diablo Canyon

Could a Fukushima-style disaster happen at one of California’s nuclear power plants? The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant is near two California fault lines, and at least one critic, a Republican state senator, is questioning whether the utility that owns the plant, PG&E, is doing all it needs to to ensure that it can safely withstand the kind of earthquake some seismologists believe is possible.

Pollution by population?

As the world steadily marches toward record-breaking population figures, Need to Know time travels to the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, a small window of time when “overpopulation” was a frightening issue that occupied a substantial slice of the American psyche.

Interview: Phillip Longman and Julia Whitty

Alison Stewart interviews reporters Phillip Longman and Julia Whitty to discuss the challenges of population change today, and just how serious they are.

Gloria Steinem on men, women and power

Need to Know correspondent Stacey Tisdale talks with feminist icon Gloria Steinem about the gains made by the women’s movement and what’s left to be tackled.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.