Once again, we are reminded of the inherent risks of nuclear power, which will always be vulnerable to the potentially deadly combination of human error, design failure and natural disaster.
Chernobyl was the world’s worst civilian nuclear accident to date. But what is unfolding in the aftermath of the worst ever earthquake in Japan, at more than two nuclear facilities (at the time of writing), will remain unprecedented in the history of nuclear accidents.
Yet, it is by no means the only one: The history of nuclear energy is a history of accidents, right up to today — from partial meltdowns to radioactive leaks to internal system failures. Records show that these accidents are not confined to a particular time, country or reactor type.
Since Chernobyl, nearly 800 significant leaks accidents have been officially reported to the International Atomic Energy Agenc...