The real reason not to invest in nuclear power isn't the risk of a meltdown but the certainty that the costs are too high.
Who cares about radiation? If you want to measure the real impact of Chernobyl, Fukushima, and whatever nuclear disasters are in our future, tally the cost.
On the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, I was in Ukraine, in what's known as the "exclusion zone," which is the area contaminated by the explosion of the plant's fourth reactor on April 26, 1986. I was standing in the middle of what used to be a town. I was expecting something straight out of "Chernobyl Diaries," the horror film opening this week, which is set in a different part of the exclusion zone, a town called Pripyat, which is all derelict schools and eyeless doll heads peeking out from piles of rubble.
The town I was in wasn't recognizable as anything more than a grassy field, though, because in the intervening decades, the homes had decayed until the only evidence they were ever there were a handful of depressions in the earth.
Kneeling by the side of the road was a Japanese journalist who had recently evacuated his family from a somewhat more recent nuclear disaster. Across the top of his geiger counter, in large block letters, I could read, "FUKUSHIMA." Fifteen feet away, oblivious to the elevated radiation levels, was the old woman who had farmed this land for six years after the Chernobyl disaster, until the government realized she lived in a hotspot and that she'd been ingesting radioactive Caesium through the milk she harvested from her cows.