Cuco and Eddie watch a nuclear industry spokesperson on the news TV: Nuclear energy is the safest form of energy until it blows up and poisons everybody. Cuco: How about this idea? You can use nuclear power... when you get your own planet.
People aren’t losing perspective, it’s just that comparing the tsunami damage to the nuclear plant damage are apples and oranges. Of course there was a massive loss of life and property from the water, but strictly speaking you can clear the land with bulldozers and rebuild if society wants to.
(It’s a separate point to consider if you want to do that in a valley that sits on a major fault line so close to the ocean. Same argument could have been made for New Orleans, or at least they might have chosen to build Denmark-quality defenses against a future water surge.)
The thing about the nuclear situation in Japan is that for all that’s gone wrong, it’s still been largely contained. But on the other hand what the so-called ‘alarmists’ want you to consider is that if the final containment casing were to fail, and there was a total meltdown released into the atmosphere - you could have a 50-mile radius of land contaminated to the point where it would have to be abandoned for hundreds of years, a la Chernoybl.
That’s the question some people consider when talking about new nuclear installations. As we’ve seen in this case “the chances are a million to one” isn’t quite true. In Japan, it feels like the chances of a major, life-changing environmental disaster have dropped to less than the chances of VCU winning the NCAA tournament. People should take this example, and decide if they are comfy with a nuclear plant 30 miles up the road.
Low energy prices are a fair consideration, but the risks shouldn’t be swept under the rug when making the choice.