As if the biggest earthquake in the history of the country and a massive tsunami that ensued was not bad enough, Japan is still frantically trying to stop a nuclear meltdown at one of their nuclear power plant that was damaged due to the earthquake. It would be like pouring salt on a a really bad wound if that power plant implodes and harmful radiation spreads like it did when Chernobyl had it's down similar disaster many moons ago.
But engineers knew the risk of nuclear power plants. Hence there were safety measures put in, and fail safes also. But then again, they probably did not think at that time an earthquake as massive as the one that just hit would ever happen. See the nuclear power plant they have over there was relatively old, and supposedly the newer the power plant, the more safe it is since safety technology has been improving consistently over time (as well they should have).
I just hope engineers over in Japan can avert the crisis, as I think even something even at a quarter of the scale of Chernobyl was to happen, we here in the US can kiss nuclear energy goodbye.
Sure nuclear meltdowns are terrible tragedies, and radiation can do some damage to a human body. But name me a significant energy source that is 100 percent clean and environmentally friendly? As with anything there are risk attached to it. I don't see how some people in the political arena can even argue against nuclear power, and using the case of Japan as evidence. The German people are even tell their government to shut down their perfectly fine plants. And where do you suppose the country should get its energy, oil?
Lest we forget, oil is responsible for some or the worse man made disasters ever. Last time I check, the BP oil spill happened just this past year, and of course the poster boy for environmental disasters - the Exxon Valdez. So politicians if you are going to harp on about the safety of alternatives other than nuclear, I really don't think you have a case (clean coal is an absolute oxymoron - you hear that CHINA?). And I thought we are trying to lower our dependence on foreign oil? You know, be self sustaining in terms of our energy needs? Might not happen with the automobile, but I am pretty sure powering the grid (TRON reference) should be left to our own.
Nuclear is the next frontier of clean power, and it is time US joins the rest of the world (not you Saudi Arabia, you should worry about an uprising first) and embrace nuclear full steam. If all the safety technology is implemented, it should be plenty safe. I just don't understand how the government can be so apprehensive about it. Every kind of energy solution has its potential problems (plane flies over field of solar panels, gets incinerated by the reflection, but of course this is conjecture). Oil can spill, miners can get stuck in mines, and etc. I mean according to the game Sim City, short of leverage the powers of nuclear fusion, current nuclear power plants are some of the safest, least polluting, and most power generating type of plant on the planet. There is no reason the US should not be using it fully.
Disasters happens. What can you do but try to prevent the heck out of it. But mother nature is unpredictable, and hence you should not be scared by it. Did people of New Orleans move its city north just because of the Hurricane and the fact their city STILL lies beneath sea level? Since when did US drop its balls and not willing to live with the risk when the benefit FAR and FAR outweighs it (hello off shore drilling). Unless there is some treasure trove of oil that rivals the combined might of the OPEC countries, US is going have to start looking at adding more nuclear power plants. Lest we have to invade another sovereign country, accuse them of harboring weapons of mass destruction, and the plunder their oil (which is not true, for pretty much the war in iraq was a just massive display of nothing - and so many died, its a shame).
Its is energy - the whole world runs on it. With the rise of China and other fast developing countries, it is appearing more crowded in this zero sum game. Stop using Japan's nuclear nightmare as an excuse to deter the US from using nuclear power. Besides, relatively speaking the US is not that densely populated hence the energy department should have no problem finding a suitable site far away from civilization to build nuclear power plants.
Nuclear power is the answer to the US's energy problem. No oil need to be spill, no miners will die a horrible death, and of course fail safe the hell out of the plant. What is happening in Japan is horrible yes, but no one could have predicted such natural catastrophe. Engineer says new nuclear power plants are built to withstand such earthquakes, so I don't think it should be a deterrent at all. I mean, I am not going back to rubbing two sticks together.