I find it hard to imagine anything more counterintuitive than the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe in Japan.
The only place in the world that has suffered nuclear attack is Japan. The only people on earth who have ever been fired on by nuclear weapons were Japanese. The country on earth that should be most terrified of nuclear power is Japan. The country on earth most vulnerable to earthquake is Japan. The most dangerous place to site a nuclear power plant is wherever earthquakes are likely. WTF are nuclear power plants doing in Japan?
The only species of life on the planet that would contemplate (let along follow through on) a plan so patently suicidal as to locate a nuclear reactor in the place most likely to be rocked by earthquake is homo sapiens. The translation for “homo sapiens”? Wise man, or knowing man.
I’m certainly not the only, nor the first, writer to object to the whole idea of nuclear power plants, but I’m proud to be among them. My argument against them is quite simple. 1) They can release as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as nuclear bombs. 2) We should avoid massive releases of radioactivity. 3) The chance of a meltdown is small but measurable. 4) The more plants we build, the more we increase the odds of a meltdown. 5) Eventually (and especially if we build them where earthquakes are likely) one will fail and melt down, and the containment building will be so compromised it can no longer contain anything. 6) As bad as they are, coal burning plants never release radioactivity.
Here’s how Greenpeace feels about it at the moment.