Exceptional interview with Dr. Gregory Jaczko by Alec Baldwin. Dr. Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Fukushima disaster.
Pro-nuclear members of the NRC were outraged when Jaczko called for a 50 mile perimeter around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant during the early days of the disaster March 2011.
This 50 mile perimeter was problematic because most US reactors are located in or near urban areas and these urban centers could not be evacuated within a 50 mile radius in the event of meltdowns and spent fuel pool fires:
Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant in Arizona is a perfect example. Most of the approximately 4 million people living in Maricopa county could not evacuate if Palo Verde had a meltdown and/or spent fuel pool fires. There are only a couple of freeways and highways leading out of town and they would be entirely jammed in no time at all.
Palo Verde is located West of Phoenix. Most of the time, the winds move from west to east. That means that under ordinary weather conditions, radioactive contaminants from a fire or meltdown at Palo Verde would blow east into the valley where the population is centered.
Physicists and engineers warned against locating nuclear power plants in populated areas in the late 1940s and early 1950s. However, these warnings were disregarded and sprawling suburbs have encroached on reactors that were once located more remotely.
TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi disaster will costs billions of (US) dollars and is producing heat that is visible on webcams. Many trucks and other petroleum fueled vehicles operate at the plant every day in a desperate effort to keep melted fuel cool and to prevent ongoing contamination of the aquifer and ocean.
Nuclear power is not clean. It is not carbon neutral. It is not cheap. And it is not safe.
Fukushima Daiichi August 10, 2016