This link is making its rounds through the tubes. Here’s the topline:
Japan’s nuclear powerplants have performed magnificently in the face of a disaster hugely greater than they were designed to withstand, remaining entirely safe throughout and sustaining only minor damage. The unfolding Fukushima story has enormously strengthened the case for advanced nations – including Japan – to build more nuclear powerplants, in the knowledge that no imaginable disaster can result in serious problems.
Yes, without serious Japanese government regulation, the disaster could have been much worse. Here’s how it doesn’t apply to America: Republicans hate regulations. Plus, the regulatory system here is broken (see also BP oil spill). So, as I’ve been repeating, establishing more power plants with Fukushima as a benchmark for safety might work — as long as the Republicans don’t dismantle the regulations in the process. And they tend to do that. A lot. I mean, Mitch McConnell has no interest in even discussing regulating the nuclear industry.
All told, we ought to consider any new regulatory structure around the nuclear industry as temporary.