On the Safe Operation of Nuclear Power Plants
I am a nuclear reactor reactor operator in the United States Navy; I operate the control rods in real nuclear reactors every day, and I believe that the concern being addressed by the nation with regard to Fukushima is very important; however one must consider that nuclear power is still more viable than most of its competitors - it is a fuel that is clean, small, efficient, transportable anywhere, and it lasts for a very long time. Traditional power plants consume large amounts of non-renewable resources and produce and release gaseous chemical toxins continuously. The radioactivity in a nuclear power plant decays usually in a few short days or weeks once operation has ceased, depending on whether there are materials present with large isotope half-lives or decay intensities that may trap and release radiation with a different rate/duration (and if there are no shielding concerns). In light of this information, I believe that if earthquakes are the issue, perhaps construction/zoning codes are really what is lacking.