The debate over the expansion of nuclear power has been running nonstop for many years. Some of the earliest protests were in the 1950s, and later there were many science fiction movies about the danger of nuclear weapons. A few examples are Dr. Strangelove and The Day The Earth Stood Still. However, it seems that the amount of public debate about nuclear energy is strongly related to whether there has been a recent high-profile incident involving a nuclear power plant. For example, the incident at Three Mile Island in 1979 led to a protest with 200,000 people marching in New York. The protests continued through the 1980s when “Ronnie Raygun” was president and amassing a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons. After Reagan’s presidency, however, the amount of protest activity decreased. There was talk of a new ‘renaissance’ of nuclear power, and several plants were in varous stages of development. However, the Tohoku earthquake in March 2011, and the subsequent meltdowns of several reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, caused many developed nations to rethink their use of nuclear power. For example, Germany decided to shut down all of its reactors by 2022.
I was thinking about this issue the other when I was using my vaporizer and watching The Simpsons. Everyone remembers that Homer’s job was at the nuclear power plant owned by Mr. Burns. Homer was “one of the low-level drones in sector 7-G.” Yet, the show was most definitely not pro-nuclear power. Homer’s constant bungling (along with his friends Lenny and Karl) led to many a near-disaster at the plant. In one episode, a three-eyed fish named ‘Blinky’ was discovered in the river near the plant.
In any case, the anti-nuclear movement has certainly made great leaps lately. Many countries are now firmly opposed to using nuclear power, and others are reducing their current usage. Currently there is strong opposition among the public of many nations. Another ongoing issue the disposal of nuclear waste.