David R. Grimes,physicist and cancer researcher at Oxford University. Thirty years has passed since events in Chernobyl, while Japan marks the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. We need more than ever to have a reasoned discussion on the issues. It is important also to see these disasters in the wider context of energy production: when the Banqiao hydroelectric dam failed in China in 1975 it led to at least 171000 deaths and displaced 11 million people. Our reliance on fossil fuels is particularly costly, not only to the environment but to human health; each year, at least 1.3 million people are estimated to die from air pollution. Shutdown of the plants in Japan has led to not only increased pollution, but rolling blackouts and protests. By contrast, France has for decades produced 75% of its energy through nuclear, and enjoys the cleanest air and among the lowest carbon emissions of any industrialised nature.
Michael Dittmar - The worries about existing and potential problems with our oil, gas and coal supplies for our industrial based way of living have certainly increased.
However, people enthusiastic about large scale technology, especially with some background in physics, are pointing quickly either to nuclear energy or to large scale solar power projects as possible solutions to such worries. Such views are supported by most economists and politicians who propose that one only needs to invest trillions of dollars to manage potentially existing problems with our fossil fuel based energy civilization. It is assumed that the intelligent investment of money will be sufficient to solve the problems with nuclear fusion and make it available either directly on our planet or indirectly using solar energy. Such views about the future use of energy are often lacking the relevant facts about today’s energy use and existing technological constraints. Instead, the preferred form of discussions seems to be dominated by theoretical and hypothetical ideas about unproven concepts with unknown capital costs.
Japan's contributes 11.4% of publications in nuclear medicine worldwide, by one survey. It wants to do more.