Check out the annual number of deaths caused by various electrical power generation methods. Nuclear power has, by far, the lowest [http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/deaths-per-twh-for-all-energy-sources.html]. No coal mines, dam bursts, dust explosions, carbon emissions, and less than a quarter of the industrial accidents of any other power generation. Life is life, and life is more important than the inconvenience that this plant has caused after being hit by an unprecedented natural disaster.
So far, no one has died from the radiation (and that includes the plant workers) and no one will. No one will suffer mutations or genetic disorders. Three workers so far have been exposed to levels that can be linked to an increased risk of cancer. This increased risk is less than that of working in a restaurant that has a smoking section [http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/radiation_protection/doc/publication/125.pdf]. All of these statements are easily researched and available to the public.
People don't want to admit this, but money=life. Don't believe me? There are studies that are done to see how many lives would be saved if streets were widened, crosswalks were put up, or streetlights installed. Decisions get made to install or not install based on the cost verses the amount of lives it would save per year. Based on processes like these the US government has put a value on the average human life at ~$23,000, given an average lifespan of 80years.
Everybody yells that money isn't worth life... Everybody is wrong. It is, because it has to be. Money isn't just money, it is the medium by which we exchange services. There is only so much work that can be done, and only so much money that can be spent. So in the end, saving money is the same as saving lives. It sounds cold, but it's true. Even were it not, nuclear power would still be the safest way to generate electricity.
INES level 7...are you sure...wow, that"ll never happen again...all we have to do is learn from the past and make sure it never happens again, right.
Oh, you mean there was a plant in the Ukraine that had a level 7? So, let's do some really cool lessons learned stuff and declare victory and "it will never happen again."
If you are buying this line, then you probably believed the big "mission accomplished" sign George Bush had on the carrier after the second Iraq invasion.
You guys gotta start thinking outside the little nuclear power box...that naïveté went by the wayside years ago.
You can bet I will be banned from this forum posthaste...you guys need to read up on Black Swan events before you declare victory over bad things happening to good people.
You use this "level 7" as if it were something that it is not. You seem to believe that it is a catch all for nuclear accident severity, and that its scale is for the overall effect on society. A level 7 event is not twice as bad as level 3.5. It isn't, and there is no such thing as a level 3.5. My point is, the levels do not work at all like that. It's just a set of categories to judge the impact on the industry and community. Most level 4 incidents don't even involve the release of radioactive material into the environment. This is a level 7 incident, by definition. Mostly, this is due to the need for the implementation of planned and extended countermeasures; and not so much for widespread health and environmental effects. This is not like Chernobyl in the slightest bit. Chernobyl was caused by human error and improper action, and resulted in the death of workers and widespread impact on the health of the nearby public.
The MITNSE website is a great place to get a summed up and accurate description of events in Japan's nuclear plants. It breaks down a lot of the ‘mumbo jumbo’ we spout here as a way of life. We spout this mumbo jumbo here, because this is our home. You have walked into our home, asked us your questions (to which the answers were already available should you have looked), and then spewed arrogance when we have answered them for you. It is upsetting to see someone act this way; however, you are a guest and I will treat you as one, answer your questions, and now ask you to behave yourself. Should you fail to do so then, yes, I would hope that you be asked to leave by those whom have the authority to do so.