Pessimism Reigns a Year After Fukushima
Columbia Journalism Review
March 12, 2012
Commentary by: Cristine Russell, Environment and Natural Resources senior fellow
“The barrage of stories worldwide on the first anniversary of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant provided a largely gloomy forecast for the future of the nuclear industry.
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake off the northeastern coast of Japan trigged a massive tsunami that hit the Fukushima plant, causing severe damage and meltdowns in three reactors. A year later, pundits are still debating the fallout, not only for Japan, but also for a world searching for the reliable energy sources of the future. While some anniversary reports struck a note of techno-optimism about major strides in safety, the pendulum swung decidedly toward techno-pessimism about the major obstacles preventing nuclear power from becoming a bigger player in global power production and efforts to mitigate climate change.”