As much as we are all praying and helping in any way we can for the suffering people of Japan, there is a lot of fear mongering in the mainstream media and politicians with personal and political agendas over the nuclear radiation threat. Let’s be clear, a nuclear meltdown or even a partial meltdown is nothing to take lightly, but it is EXTREMELY rare.
Over the last 50 years America and some 30+ countries have been using nuclear power plants to provide their energy needs. Out of some 14,000 cumulative reactor-years there have only been two major accidents, until this week. One Three Mile Island injured not a soul and Chernobyl. Chernobyl was not a structurally sound reactor, (no containment shell) and the political/governmental mismanagement of the crisis only made the disaster worse. Evacuations were delayed and the truth of the damage kept hidden as the old Soviet bureaucrats wanted to save face more than the lives of those living near the reactor. Even as bad as it was, to date only 56 lives were lost related directly to the radiation from the failed reactor.
Let’s recap: 50 years of clean, safe, efficient energy production from nuclear power. To date, death toll from nuclear accidents is well below 100 people in 50 years. Yet EVERY YEAR globally we lose 6,000 lives to coal mining accidents. Every life is precious, but there is NO completely safe energy source without some risk, that can meet the needs of our country. Let’s pray for the people of Japan, but let’s not make foolish policies decisions without a proper perspective.
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