If im not mistaken the plants lost power and there was no other way to pump water to the cooling towers setting up a chain of events that either may or will lead to a full out meltdown.
That's not entirely correct. This was a triple failure. The earthquake severed the power lines operating the pumps, as a result of which the backup generators kicked on. Minutes later, the tsunami washed through and destroyed the backup generators. In the following days, with grid power still not available, hydrogen explosions and fires pretty much destroyed the rest of the plants' systems, and ensured that any containment measures taken would be irreversible. That's worth repeating: as soon as they had the opportunity to do so, the operator junked all four reactors, including the two that were apparently under control. None of them will ever operate again, and the capital cost alone of that will certainly exceed a billion US dollars.
All that aside, these reactors were designed to survive a 7-8 Richter earthquake (depending on whose scale, and whose reports you choose to believe). To anticipate the reactor cores surviving a magnitude 8.9 quake is like expecting a car that's certified safe in a head-on collision at 60 mph to also survive a collision at 118 mph. The fact that (apparently) only one of the four pressure vessels has suffered a breach is a testament to how over-engineered they are.
This is an accident of almost incomprehensible scope, for the nuclear industry, and a radiation release of unforgivable scale. That still doesn't make it dangerous. Why we play by different rules than other power plants, I don't know, but there you have it. Every story about this will use the word "Chernobyl", but the phrase "Deepwater Horizon" will fade from memory within a few years. I don't think there's anything funny about the situation. But I also won't stand silent in the face of that kind of hypocrisy.
If anyone has factual questions about nuclear power, or the dangers of radiation exposure, I'll answer them to the best of my abilities.