I grew up in a house 26 miles from Three Mile Island and I was in the eighth grade when it experienced a partial core meltdown. The entire world freaked out when TMI was happening and I remember getting caught up in it. Granted, I was 13 years old at the time. Boy do I remember keeping the blinds drawn and not being able to go outside for recess. I remember too the absent kids whose parents decided to flee.
The troubled nuclear plants in Japan will be contained and the Japanese people will rebuild their lives and their country. Count on it. Just as equally, you can count on the anti-nuclear people to use the tragedy in Japan to try to stop further investment in nuclear power. Most people don't understand what ionizing radiation is and have not idea that they're exposed to it constantly. Further, they have no idea that the Pacific coast of North America is at no risk for ill effects from the events unfolding in Japan.
Here's a table that explains radioactive exposure in a very straightforward way.Many thanks to my cousin Tim for passing this along to me.
We cannot continue to burn stuff to make electricity, that much is clear. Between rising sea levels, peak oil and melting icecaps, burning fossil fuels represents a bigger problem than any nuclear power plant can.
Until the inefficiencies of wind power and solar power are addressed, nuclear is the best option we have.
You're free to disagree with me of course but I ask that you do so rationally. And whether you agree with me or not I ask that you pass along that table.