While the nuclear power industry no longer promulgates the myth of nuclear energy as an inexpensive source of power, failures at the Japanese nuclear complex will undoubtedly lead to increased lobbying efforts to restore public confidence in the safety of its facilities. Sadly, and despite similar reassurances, the residents of Fukushima Daiichi can bear witness likewise to the myth of nuclear energy as a safe source of power.
Safety and thereby risk is a function of gauging the likelihood of any adverse event and the magnitude of its negative consequences. When carefully regulated, the nuclear industry can be rightfully proud of its ability to prevent an accident from taking place. Nevertheless, it is disingenuous of the industry to equate this record with overall safety by obfuscating the potentially catastrophic impact of an untoward nuclear event.