We are worse than Three Mile Island now, but not even close to Chernobyl.
It is truly disappointing that they didn't solve the cooling problems. It is guaranteed we'll learn a lot from this.
So remember, short term (decades) use of nuclear power is safer than BAU.
Let the science inform you. Not O'Donnell and the Last Word on MSNBC, who ignored reality ala Fox and spread total crap concerning the nuclear power plants here in California.
Same for Wolf Blitzer of CNN, who likewise thought he'd caught an expert out, but in fact only exposed his closed mind.
Big big kudos to Rachael Maddow, who is covering this expertly.
Again, let the science inform you, not the BS being dished out by the press.
Comparisons are being made with the accident at Chernobyl, but there are a number of very important differences, notably in terms of reactor design, and therefore accident implications. Nuclear safety in the former Soviet Union was once my research field (see Nuclear Safety and International Governance: Russia and Eastern Europe), and the specifics of the accident at Chernobyl could not be replicated in Japan. The risk in Japan is primarily meltdown, not a Chernobyl-style run-away nuclear reaction.How Black Is the Japanese Nuclear Swan?
With a breach of the containment system of the Fukushima #2 reactor and release of significant amounts of radiation, we now have the answer to whether or not nuclear power is safe. In the eyes of the public and politicians the answer will be no, even before the final tally of nuclear casualties is counted. Looking to the future, the question should boil down to whether or not the risks of nuclear accidents are outweighed by the benefits to society of nuclear electricity. But in the current environment, and for years to come the risks are going to dominate government thinking and the benefits, all too readily ignored at present will be forgotten completely until we begin to feel the consequences of growing reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports and intermittent renewable energy.Safety of nuclear power and death of the nuclear renaissance
To say nothing about mitigating climate change
Well, this will result in a halt of new nuk plants in the US.
Hope you are located where you can grow much of your own food, and don't need to use much gas to get around... it's going the be a bumpy ride.