Look Ma, No Fire Protection

Alternet is featuring a story about the Bush administration’s attempts to reduce nuclear power plant safety requirements. This news might have slipped by unnoticed, except Mainichi Daily News is reporting on a steam explosion at a Japanese nuclear plant that killed four and injured seven workers today. Bush’s plan, against this background, seems haphazard.

At least this accident didn’t result in a radiation leak, the the 1999 Tokaimura nuclear accident did. One worker was immediately killed and two others seriously injured when a batch of uranium ‘went critical.’ At least one of the injured workers died during recovery, and countless others will be subject to as-yet unknown health effects from the radiation leak.

Most people think of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island in this context, but InfoPlease has a convenient short-list of nuclear disasters, Green Peace has much longer (though more complex) list of nuclear accidents.

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