Re: three "disasters" so far - Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima
I am not anti-nuclear. In fact, I think breeder reactors are a good idea in terms of efficiency and reduced waste, ours was taken out of start-up several years before the earthquake and wave that hit, not just Fukushima Number 1, but a huge swathe of the Pacific coast.
Sure, it was a natural disaster. Well over 20,000 dead. I had been planning to take a rail holiday there at the time, I thank the fates or god that I didn't feel good at the time, so didn't go.
Am yet to see a figure on how many carriages were swept away.
I still travel through the area at times.
In the southernmost city in Fukushima Prefecture, a lovely park, even this spring, a long way from the reactor, has been stripped of its soil. Why? Too radioactive. Signs were posted to display the before-and-after millisievert levels.
Try telling all of the evacuees that it wasn't a major nuclear disaster, on top of the quake and the wave.
Try telling the small army of day labourers actually working on the ineffectual cleanup that it wasn't a nuclear disaster. They enjoy being put up in good hotels on the periphery, but they are the ones who take the risks, and, according to our press, sometimes play (or used to play) tricks with the dosimeters to stay on in the work (nice hotel in the evening).
Only three major disasters so far, perhaps. There have been many smaller ones.
British had one earlier than the others listed. It was called Windscale, the government even renamed the location (to something like Sellafield?) in an attempt to make people forget.
Here, also two incidents at the Tokaimura reactor, on the other side of the island.
First was an explosion, limited venting of radioactive gas, but overexposure for about forty people.
Second, about fifteen years ago, workers were putting powdered fuel in buckets, it reached criticality, two were dead in short order, several others got a radiation overdose.
There must have been many similar incidents in other places.
France seems to have the best record in using fission for power safely. Germany also seems to have had a good record until they made the mad political deal to shut down all of their plants.