I have no idea how bad the situation with the nuclear plants in Japan will be. (The reactors in question at least are housed in containment buildings, something that was not the case at Chernobyl.)
What I do find interesting in this country is that while there is real concern regarding the spread of radiation from those crippled nuclear plants, the elites (political, academic, and media) seem to have no problem forcing Americans each day to be exposed to radiation amounts that most likely will be higher for them than from what they will receive from the Japan fallout. The radiation comes from the "porno-scanners" at U.S. airports, and we already have seen how the elites treat anyone who raises questions of health, not to mention privacy. To resist this assault from the government is to be an Enemy of the People, at least according to the mouthpiece for the Elite Ruling Class, the New York Times.
Update: I think that this article makes my point exactly about porno-scanners.