Taking a closer look
While i can admit that this was a failing of NP on one level, it was also a very real trial by fire on the other. A trial it has for all intents and purposes passed. Not as well as we'd hope, maybe it got a "C" instead of an "A" but it was a far cry from an "F".
It should also not push us away from NP but closer to it, so that we can continue to make these safer. The thought also occurs that the actual construction cost of one of these plants is not much higher than a coal plant. It is all the additional leg work that is required by a NP plant that adds cost most of it rather useless (studies of local impact, and other such expensive and generally fruitless and feel good tests) and taking away from money that could be spent "building a bigger tsunami wall" and other safety features.
@Sembel - On to your point however:
"6 old reactors in close proximity out of action"
2 Newer ones and 4 older ones. It is common in the industry to keep multiple reactors at one site as despite what the anti-nukers like to whine about, it means services to keep them safe can be kept within one location and be more readily available to all of them.
"4 old reactors unrecoverable"
4 old reactors that were past their "use by" date anyway. They had an extended lease on life, but they were flawed and old designs that needed to be replaced. So a hidden blessing there, even if it is a costly one. Not to mention that even on of the two reactors which successfully and uneventfully shut down generate more power than than the other four combined. (roughly)
"A lack of radiation gauges for workers"
Don't know where you got that gem from. However the workers had two forms of radiation gauge, both a digital counter and a rather old school badge which changes colour as their exposure increases.
"Tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes"
Which is mostly due to rather strict (possibly overblown) guidelines on how to handle these situations. Though most of these people would probably lucky if their houses were even intact.
"Contamination preventing search and rescue in the area"
I highly doubt this as being anywhere outside of the plant grounds itself poses very low radiological risks and when weighed against the potential loss of human life not searching poses they'd be allowed the 250mSv limit to perform rescue operations (which is well beyond what they would be exposed to)
"Probable caesium contamination of a sizeable area requiring permanent closure of some land"
Bulls droppings. While caesium contamination is correct, it is only temporary and is of such a low level it won't be harming anyone in any noticeable way. Permanent closure, no... just, no... This isn't a coal power plant, the land isn't covered in coal ash (including mercury) THAT stuff lasts forever, even then it gets spread out to harmless levels given enough time.
"Contamination of some crops requiring monitoring of food"
Yes, that is correct. There is monitoring. Though so far that monitoring has shown there is nothing to fear and no real harm to be had unless you eat a years worth of the stuff in a day.
"Damage to the reputation of the industry"
Yes, because of people like you spreading lies and misinformation.
"Contamination of the sea requiring research/monitoring and fishing restrictions"
Last post i heard was declaring that the fish were fine to eat. Just like the food, of course they're monitoring it. Though the monitoring is showing nothing of notable harm to be found.
Please just get the facts straight and stop blowing this out of proportion.
This was a disaster. A country is in ruins because of a tsunami and earthquake double whammy. The nuclear plant is the least of their concern right now.
It was a concern before, though never as large as everyone made out.
As long as we keep treating NP as this evil boogeyman we will never be able to relax the strict guidelines put in place that take funding away from building them better and take money away from researching plants that are safer by their very nature like Thorium reactors.