Thousands of people are feared dead. Tens of thousands are missing or injured. Hundreds of thousands have lost their homes. Buildings, vehicles of all kinds and civil infrastructure have been smashed to pieces and swept away. But the story that has dominated the news in the past 48 hours is the loss of control of two reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In contrast to the devastation across Japan, however, the accident has – at the time of writing – so far caused only 15 injuries, just one of which appears to be serious, and a handful of suspected cases of exposure to radiation, none of which appear to be serious. So why is there such a preoccupation with the nuclear power plant?
The low-quality copy emerging even from the ‘quality’ press has been amazing. It has been totally speculative, and giving a lot of free airtime to the nakedly anti-nuclear agenda, merely to generate something exciting out of the unfolding event.