With the situation at Fukushima Daiichi rated 7 and concerns being raised by the emissions of radioactive isotopes to the air and sea this article written jointly by Mark Lynas and Chris Goodall is particularly welcome.
The article looks at the evidence available for the effects of high levels of radiation in the short and long term, and the effects of lower levels of radiation (but still above the average background) over the long term.
The authors make the point that misinformation about exaggerated dangers of radiation is actually likely to be harmful to large numbers of people. They hope that a more rational sense of risk and an appreciation of what we have learned from past experience will prevent the repeat of this experience after Fukushima.
How risky is nuclear power? As the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues in Japan, many people and governments are turning away from nuclear power in the belief that it is uniquely dangerous to human health and the environment. The German government has reversed its policy of allowing the oldest nuclear plants to stay open and Italy has reportedly abandoned its efforts to develop new power stations. Beijing has stopped approving applications for nuclear reactors until the consequences of Fukushima become clear, potentially affecting up to 100 planned new stations. The mood towards the nuclear industry is antagonistic and suspicious around the world. We think this reaction is short-sighted and largely irrational.
You can read the complete post here.