Great Comment from a Reader
(this was posted as a comment in the wrong thread, but I thought it deserved to be brought to the front)
It happens I wrote a blog post about this accident when it occurred, to the same point- that we tolerate many more dangerous substances than nuclear, and many more deaths from them, than we ever would from nuclear power.
If this had happened at one of our 108 nuclear power plants, mass hysteria would have transpired. There would be angry demonstrations replete with eco-tards chaining themselves to the fences around the plants,at every nuclear plant in the country. There would be congressional hearings. The news media would be filled with angry editorials calling for the shut down of all nuclear plants.
But gas? Never mind that there are at least a couple of people killed in gas explosions in residential structures every years. Here in Chicago, we have had numerous fires caused by surges of gas due to corroded old gas pipes in apartment buildings and houses, yet this nasty, dangerous, polluting substance powers almost every home furnace in the midwest, and is the preferred cooking fuel of most of Chicago.
While people send delegations to state legislatures to protest the transportation of low-radiation spent nuclear fuels through their communities, they are totally ignorant of the vastly more hazardous substances in tankers riding their bumpers on the highway, or stored in corroding drums at abandoned factories all over the country.
Thus we see the power of symbolism and loaded language to trump rational thought and common sense. Most people do not reason, but “think” in images and symbols, and the anti-nuke crowd got to our population before the voice of reason, and did a great job of negative anchoring by means of negative images, with nuclear power. And countering these images with reason is going to be an uphill battle.