When a powerful storm system swept across the South earlier this week, a series of tornadoes wiped entire communities from the map and cut power to about 300,000 businesses and homes in parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and other states in the region. At least 200 lives were lost. But what the storm didn't manage to do is harm Browns Ferry, the second-biggest nuclear power plant in the United States.
After a 9.0-magnitude earthquake crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant in northern Japan last month, a group of vocal critics called for an end to nuclear power around the globe. (Some, of course, are long-time critics who used this as an opportunity to revitalize their call to action.) One of the most high-profile critics, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for the aging Indian Point, just outside of New York City, to be shut down. An "emergency demonstration" was organized by activists in the New York area. "Indian Point is a disaster waiting to happen," the activists argued in a press release announcing a march. "We are NOW demanding that Indian Point be shut down for the simple reason that nuclear power is inherently unsafe and until Indian Point is shut down, and replaced by renewable sources of energy, we shall not rest!"