Fukushima, Five Years Later

A timely note from TFCB author Fred Bortz: As we mark the fifth anniversary of the March 11, 2011, triple nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan, I have been thinking about the central questions of my YA book about the event, Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future (TFCB, 2012). With the Paris climate conference just past, those questions loom even larger than when the book was published. The world needs major reductions in its greenhouse gas emissions. And at least for the near future, nuclear power will remain by far the greatest source of zero-carbon electricity. But is it worth the risk? Will governments be able to impose a regulatory regime that makes nuclear plants safe enough to satisfy a skeptical but energy-hungry citizenry? The answer is in flux. What is right for 2016 may not be right in 2036 when today’s young readers are emerging as leaders. For that reason, the book leaves those questions unanswered. Five years after Fukushima, its key message about our energy future stands: “The decision is yours.”

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