I may have mentioned in an earlier post that when news was continuing to break about the Japanese nuclear disaster, I was regularly tweeting about it, quoting news alerts and other various news reports. Several of those reports used the words "out of control", and so that's exactly what I repeated in my posts and/or tweets. I was called out by a few people who said condescending things like, "Why are you panicking? How sad." I wasn't, I was passing on what I heard.
Several people tried their best to convince me how far nuclear power has come, and even compared it to coal and oil in an effort to prove its effectiveness, reliability and safety.
My response was that they were all pretty bad, and the severity of the pollution from coal and oil does nothing to lessen that of a nuclear accident or the problems associated with storing nuclear waste.
When I referred to comparisons to Chernobyl, I was ridiculed. At times all of this was amusing, at other times infuriating.
At one point, I was followed on Twitter by the Nuclear Energy Institute, receiving tweet after tweet challenging my views, trying to convince me to change my mind. It didn't work.
Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow's meat and milk, then humans).  After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer. Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time.
The grave effects of internal emitters are of the most profound concern at Fukushima. It is inaccurate and misleading to use the term "acceptable levels of external radiation" in assessing internal radiation exposures. To do so, as Monbiot has done, is to propagate inaccuracies and to mislead the public worldwide (not to mention other journalists) who are seeking the truth about radiation's hazards. [...]
[A]s the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII report has concluded, no dose of radiation is safe, however small, including background radiation; exposure is cumulative and adds to an individual's risk of developing cancer. [...]
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005 issued a report attributing only 43 human deaths directly to the Chernobyl disaster and estimating an additional 4,000 fatal cancers. In contrast, the 2009 report, "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment", published by the New York Academy of Sciences, comes to a very different conclusion.... 980,000.
There is a whole lot more here. Please read it all.
By the way, I'm still not panicked, just very concerned.
And I haven't heard a peep out of all those critics since it has been confirmed how "out of control" the situation got... not an apology, not a retraction, not an acknowledgment, not a hint of a whisper of a word. Then again, I didn't expect one.
More TPC posts on this topic here.