Nuclear scare tactics ignore lack of radiation deaths since Japanese meltdowns

Nuclear scare tactics ignore lack of radiation deaths since Japanese meltdowns

March 12th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

A digital rendering of a nuclear power plant.

A digital rendering of a nuclear power plant.

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

The telling thing about recent news coverage of the anniversary of the tsunami-caused nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan, isn't so much what the coverage revealed as what much of it either buried or didn't bother to report at all: the actual death toll from the meltdowns.

You see, as with the United States' Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979, radiation-related deaths at the Japanese nuclear plant were ... zero.

Did you know that? You could certainly be forgiven if you didn't, because so many of the articles on the anniversary of the events in Japan didn't mention that fact. They were too busy trying to frighten us all with specters of deadly nuclear contamination.

The earthquake and tsunami that caused the meltdowns claimed thousands of lives, of course, and that is a tragedy. And the meltdowns necessitated the evacuation of tens of thousands of people to ensure their safety. That represents a massive disruption of their lives.

But the absence of deaths linked to radiation at the Japanese nuclear plant should, if anything, be cause for recognition that nuclear power is not the energy bogeyman that its determined opponents claim it is. It is, in fact, an important and practical energy source -- unlike the costly solar and wind power that anti-nuclear activists often prefer.

No one disputes the fact that caution is key in producing nuclear power. But it would be a good idea to consider nuclear energy's generally solid safety record before dismissing it in favor of some "green energy" fad.


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