Andre-Claude Lacoste is the head of Frances’s Nuclear Safety Authority, and one could reasonably assume is a fan of nuclear power. He is widely reported as saying that the unfolding Fukushima reactor crisis is “worse than Three Mile Island“, the famous partial core meltdown in Pennsylvania in 1979.
Europe apparently has an “energy commissioner” called Guenther Oettinger, who claimed somewhat excitably that “There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen”. Guenther wasn’t referring to the tsunami (estimated death toll greater than 10,000) but to the Fukushima nuclear plant – current death toll…er…zero.
I don’t want to be too cynical, but the road traffic accident I dealt with three weeks ago was also worse than Three Mile Island, as two people died. Nobody died in Pennsylvania, either at the time or, so far as can be known, afterwards from radiation -induced cancer.
You might reasonably reinterpret TMI (and possibly Fukushima) as a tribute to the safety of nuclear power.
If we end up with an aged reactor that survives a massive earthquake, a colossal tsunami and horrendous logistical difficulties in managing the aftermath, it’s pretty impressive.
****Two days after this post an almost identical article is printed in the Daily Mail. Imitation…flattery….etc etc
*********** Even more alarmingly, 6 days later, Crazy George Monbiot in the Guardian agrees. I must kill a few whales….clear blue water….yikes
*************** April 3rd, the Spectator Coffee House runs an excellent summary of the whole tsunami cost