As I said in a recent talk the International Energy Agency’s plan to avoid climate catastrophe depends in part on increasing the use of atomic energy by over 70%. The latest news from Japan should give pause, though. The New York Times talks about the scale of cleanup being talked about for Fukushima after the radiation disaster following the tsunami.
“To judge the huge scale of what Japan is contemplating, consider that experts say residents can return home safely only after thousands of buildings are scrubbed of radioactive particles and much of the topsoil from an area the size of Connecticut is replaced. Even forested mountains will probably need to be decontaminated, which might necessitate clear-cutting and literally scraping them clean”
Nothing on this scale has ever been attempted before. After Chernobyl the Soviets (Ukraine, now) just pulled the people out and abandoned the place. Part of the Japanese problem is where to put the radioactive dirt. The Times articles estimates that it would fill an area the size of 33 domed stadiums and no one wants the deadly dirt in their backyard.
Nuclear power should be phased out, not ramped up.