Growing up there was three mile island in Pennsylvania. It was far enough away we didn’t worry and besides it was “minor”. Ultimately there was Chernobyl, a disaster of horrific proportions. But because I was raised to believe the Russians were somehow backwards and more or less knuckle draggers ( instead of opposing Marxism we opposed Russians ) it wasn’t a big deal. We just chalked it up to all the poor planning and execution of construction and safety on the part of the Russians. But now it is Japan. We all have the utmost respect for the modern japanese engineering ability. They are as good or better than anything we have in the US. Everyone knows it.
Right now we have three, and soon to be four, nuclear reactors in meltdown mode. As of right now we are still in the “Holy Crap Now What Do We Do” phase of the response. There is no plan for what to do. People are, smart people I might add, trying to figure out what to do. The important thing to notice is they do not know. There is no “safe” way to deal with this, nothing is certain.
If it were simply a refinery fire, no big deal, they burn themselves out, life goes on. But nuclear is terribly destructive. Its killing people and ruining the land as we speak and no one knows what to do.
Unless there is a safe way to deal with a plant in full meltdown mode, a plan and method that only needs to be execute, not developed as we go, then there should not be any nuclear plants period. Any perceived economic or environmental benefit is absurd. The loss of life here is beyond excuse and as to environmental concerns….. Crikey whats worse than a radioactive landscape ? Nothing at all comes close.
We know how to build nuclear plants, but not how to deal with them if something goes wrong. We should not build them and those we have should be decomissioned.