What makes this even more ironic is that my sudden internet fame is due to the xkcd webcomic, whose downplaying of the dangers posed by the Fukushima disaster I’ve ranted in on this blog before.
Naoto Kan, prime minister of Japan, has finally admitted that the nuclear clean-up in the region affected by the Fukushima disaster will take years, if not decades.
Based on the experience of Chernobyl, I’d say that he is underestimating the time frame, because a large chunk of Ukraine is still uninhabitable twenty-five years later.
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, which outlined the dangers of nuclear power even for those who could or would not see them before, research into alternative methods of power generation is intensifying, which is a very good thing.
One of those alternative power sources is fusion energy. The New York Times has an article about the current state of fusion power research.
Now fusion power is definitely worth investigating, if only for its enormous potential. However, while fusion is the darling of the science fiction scene, I don’t see it becoming viable for a long, long time yet. Wind power, solar power, water power, geothermic energy and others are far more likely to supply our energy in the next hundred years or so.
Besides, it’s not as if science fiction community is all that farseeing regarding energy and ecological question, as can be seen by the fact that many SF authors continue to support nuclear power even after Fukushima and that some of the most popular dystopian science fiction novels around at the moment feature post-oil scenarios that are not very plausible.