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April 26, 1986 - I was in Kiev (62 miles away) celebrating my birthday (which happens to be today). We were very lucky that the wind was blowing northeast toward Belarus instead of south toward Kiev - Kiev ended up getting only minimal exposure. The most amazing part of it all was we heard the news from our relatives in America (apparantly a Swiss site picked up the severe radiation spike) - an official annoucement didn't come for a few days.
Sucks that it happened, along with TMI. It freaked people away from nuclear energy. I think it would be a good thing if we had more nuclear power in this country than we do.
Yeah, people can't have their cake (all the energy they/we use) and eat it, too (no oil, no fossil fuels, and no nuclear energy).
I'm a huge proponent of nuclear power (to the point where I think nuclear and renewable energy sources combined should be able to provide 100% of our needs), but countries building nuclear reactors need to make sure what they're doing is smart. That means safe reactors that may not be as cheap to build (for example Generation III EPR and Generation III+ ESBWR reacotrs) which use passive safety systems making criticality excursions VERY unlikely, and reactors that can use a variety of fuel, like the Pebble Bed Reactors being built in China (which leads to fuel recycling, since energy can be extracted from many different stages of the fuel cycle). It's unaccpetable to have all this "spent" nuclear waste sitting around when, with some investment, it could be used again and again, or at least disposed of safely.