I agree, Lois, the situation in Japan is scary. I wasn't too worried about the reports that the reactors were venting hydrogen. I remembered that the radioactive isotope of hydrogen emits a low energy particle that doesn't penetrate the skin. It is potentially dangerous if ingested or inhaled in very large amounts. When they talked about cesium, however, that had me more concerned but for people over there not here. The distance protects people in our territories. I wish I could believe that we would rethink and reject the nuclear power option but I doubt that.
This HuffingtonPost story is very troubling. The story details 14 'near misses' at U.S. nuclear power plants in 2010 alone. Considering we have 104 (if I remember the number correctly) such plants, that comes to better than 10% failure rate. We were very lucky that none of these blossomed into a major incident. The feature of this story that has me scratching my head in bewilderment is how many of the incidents were repeat failures and how often the failure to either follow proper procedure or to adequately train personnel contributed to the emergency. We are unwilling to accept any possible risk of a new terrorist attack whether it is 1 chance in 100 or 1 in 1000 or even less. But we accept a 1 in 10 chance that one of our nuclear power plants will suffer some level of failure. This is insanity. By the way, we live about 50 miles away from one of the plants featured in the story and, coincidentally, the local evening news had a story on that plant last night giving everyone the 'feel' good assessment that all was well. Maybe--for now.