Japan’s anti-nuclear hysteria seems a lot less hysterical now that I’ve read a bit about Japan’s rather spotty nuclear safety record and history of government cover-ups. Global accidents in the last two decades include two lethal accidents in Japan, one uncontrolled criticality in Japan, and four comparatively minor radioactive materials leaks in other countries.
Not included on that list is a steam explosion at a Japanese nuclear plant killing 5 in 2004, and a variety of lesser events.
Fortunately the anti-nuclear movement in Japan has led to a very strong push for renewables there, including solar and wind. Unfortunately this movement has spread somewhat to Germany and Switzerland, which have been replacing nuclear with fossil fuels.
The US, incidentally, has had (at least?) 9 fatalities at nuclear reactors; 3 in a steam explosion (1961), 1 radiation exposure (1964), 4 electrocutions (1971, 1980, 1987, 1988), and 1 falling object (2013).
In 1945, Albert Stevens had terminal cancer and was injected with a lethal dose of plutonium as part of a government experiment. He ended up living 20 more years, thus being exposed to the highest radiation dose of any person, without ever learning that he had been injected with plutonium or that the cancer was a misdiagnosed ulcer.
“None of the people at UCSF or those who treated Stevens ever explained to Stevens that he did not have cancer, nor did they disclose to him that he was a part of an experiment; his wife and daughter”figured they were using him for a guinea pig,” but that the experimental treatment had worked.”
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