Nuclear power is a dangerous but powerful technology - there are many different reactor designs, you cannot judge the entire technology based on one reactor complex built in the 70's right by the ocean and near a major fault line.. That said, renewable energy sources should be completely utilized, and if nuclear power plants are built, they should be the safest designs (designed to shut down automatically if power is lost) in the safest locations (not by major cities, fault lines, volcanoes, ect...)
Honestly I really do not know much about the science and technology of nuclear power... all I really take away is that nuclear power is complex, powerful, and risky... a true double edged sword, it holds great potential for both epic destruction and power generation.
You wrote "Tell that to the dead Japanese people".
Do you mean the 3 people who died at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear?
Two died at the tsunami, probably by downing. Another one died May 14th, probably by heart attack.
Two people have be hospitalized due to radioactive burns, but I have not found any information that they died.
Consider that this was a huge industrial accident under the most severe conditions for handling the accident, massive earth quake and tsunami, this attest to how safe nuclear power is.
The accident at Fukushima was very bad accident, maybe as bad as it can get at an western civilian nuclear power plant and yet no one died due to radition at the accident.
The Onagawa Nuclear Reactor is on the closest point of land to the epicenter of the recent earthquake, actually sticking out towards it like an arrow. This reactor was entirely unaffected by quake aside from the standard precautionary shutdown and the only radiation increase for it was a little contamination blown over from the other, very old, Fukushima 1 & Fukushima 2.
The Japanese locals themselves -though not happy about the radiation evacuation -were somewhat irritated by the excessive attention about the nuclear plants when the earthquake and tsunami had been far more destructive.
The success of the Onagawa Reactor has NOT been widely reported.
I suspect that, just as the nuclear freeze campaign of the early 1980's was funded by the Soviet Union who had the most to gain from it, this anti-nuclear energy hysteria is secretly funded by OPEC. No other alternative energy can both provide the volume of energy needed to, say, manufacture a locomotive, or be expanded in the future (as we cannot create many new rivers for hydro-electric dams, nor create vast new geothermal supplies, and sun, wave, & wind are inadequate for large scale production). I apologize that this does imply that you are a dupe of OPEC, but you did call us pollyannas. I do concede that I have no idea how to confirm this admitted conspiracy theory, but how would it be possible to confirm it?
Ya, Robert Prickett, I'm a commie pinko plant. People in Japan are STILL dying. Nice and slow, the way you like it. Makes them harder to count. Thousands of other animals were abandoned to hunger, thirst and die of radiation sickness after the accident. What do you here care? Calling those who promote this unready technology Pollyannas is a compliment. Your heartless, callous attitude toward nature and life makes me sick. You would rather destroy life on earth than pay more for energy.
Are you really so naive as to believe reports by the Japanese government and nuclear power company? I hope you are only a child with no experience of life.
Are you really so naive to believe that the government and nuclear power company and media, and science and ordinary people and who do I know are concealing the truth in one big conspiracy?
Where are the evidence?
As far as I know 3 people died in connection with the incident at Fukushima and none of them related to radiation.
The fact is that no one even those working at the wrecked plant was exposed to enough radiation to develop acute radiation sickness. In chenobyl some did develop and die from acute radiation sickness, none did in Fukushima.
The level of contamination with radiative isotops out side the plant can lead to increased cancer, BUT it is likely to be so few that it will be impossible to detect any significant increase in the incidens of cancer in the area. The epidemiology for this is solid.
After the chenobyl accident there was an increase in thyroid cancer. This is caused by intake of radioactive iodine 131. Iodine is very radioactive, but have short half life of 8 days. Anything will be virtually gone after 10 half lives. Do the math 0.5^10. So the critical time for iodine 131 is the first few days up to 3 months. In chenobyl the population was exposed to iodine 131, mainly because the soviet allowed people to drink milk that was contaminated with iodine 131 and did not universally distubute tablets with non-radioactive iodine.
Thyroid cancer show good survival rates and in fact most of the 1800 thyroid cancer cases that can be connected with chenobyl was cured and few people died of it. 15 people to be precise.
For ALL other cancer types, no signifikant increase has been found.
You may find theoretical calculations based on the linear no-threshold model (LNT) for radiation exposure that the number of cancer according the the LNT (or no safe levels of radiation) that predicts that the number of cancer cases in the population should increase, but these are calculated cases not observed cases. The problem with those calculations is that the LNT-model is most likely is wrong. There is no evidence that low level of radiation cause increase in cancer. There appear to be threshold and as a matter of fact evidence may show that low level of radiation may lower the incidence of cancer.
The amount of radioactive emissions in Chenobyl was many times higher than in Fukushima. Plus in Fukushima much of it quickly ended up in the ocean, where it is diluted to under threshold levels and will not cause problems.
There is no reason to expect that there will be any significant health consequences due to radiation from the Fukushima incident.
We as freethinker should not be guided by fear mongers and scare stories. We already liberated ourselves from those priests that seeks to control us by fear of god/hell/after life/
We should not listen to the new modern few mongers, but look at the evidence and use science to understand.
Do not believe in the media frenzy which lives on fear factor fuel by irrational fear of radiation.
"low level of radiation may lower the incidence of cancer." You can't be serious! My fears are NOT irrational. They are based on science. Throwing in that statement about "god/hell/afterlife" is highly insulting to a fellow atheist. I am shocked by your placing a higher value on power/money than on life. Meanwhile the nuclear plant closest to me, in central Florida, just had the janitor patch the cracks in the containment vessel with spit and chewing gum. We are clumsy children playing with something worse than fire.
In Europe it is not so much OPEC, but Russian gas interests that has an interest in influencing energi policy and are to gain from the anti-nuclear scare preachers.