Which one is the best known? In the west, I'd say Fukushima. And yet, the nuclear disaster caused zero direct fatalities. The consequences, the evacuation in particular, killed maybe a few hundreds. That's definitely not insignificant, but to think that it overshadowed an earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 15000...
Media is controlled (either directly or due to false sense of patriotism) or biased. Probably both.
Not that military prowess should necessarily be the metric of civilisation, but Japan was/is a damned impressive culture by that metric, as well as many others.
is holding Japan in a great light
but also looking down on it
as though Europe is in a position to confer honor
a Western point of view
It is then up to any japanese / non-western readers whether they give a shit about the honour conferred by some westerners.
Honour (like most things) is subjective and varies from culture to culture. Perhaps the day a universal register of honour is established you can post your comment again when some westerner applies to give honour to the japanese again.
>[that is] a Western point of view
People in the west like to think that.
After one has lived for a while in an Asian, African, Latin American etc country, they get to see that billions of people, the 80% of the global population, could and don't give a fuck about the going's on in the west -- except when they're forced to deal with it (e.g. militarily).
E.g. the Chinese might care for selling to US/Europe -- but that doesn't mean they also care for our beliefs, history, philosophy, moral outrages, outlook on life, charts, stars, concerns, or any other such thing that we take as some kind of "physical law".
Even so, Mexico is next to the states and has some millions of US immigrants and wannabe immigrants, and still -- they have their own culture, morals, etc, and the typical western concerns are not their thing.
So, I was talking more about the cultural and societal aspects. They'll still watch some popular Hollywood movie or have teenagers listening to Cardie B, but they live in their own, different, world, as oblivious to the West as a Oklahoman farmer or a NY gallery owner is oblivious to them and their world.
Geopolitically it just refers to US/Canada and Europe (and perhaps Japan).
Mexico and Columbia belong to the Latin American world -- which has diversity within it, of course, but Europe for one, also has.
It's a quite old distinction that's used all the time.
See how Wikipedia maps the "Western world":
"(...) what is known today as described by the term "The West": United States of America and Canada, European Union and European Free Trade Association member states, Israel, Australia and New Zealand"
"The term "Western world" is sometimes interchangeably used with the term First World or developed countries, stressing the difference between First World and the Third World or developing countries." (which also doesn't include Mexico and Columbia)
All I can collect from your comment is that what defines West is capitalist economy (which is not a bad thing per se) and a vague self referential form of identity that blends money and religion.
UK voted to leave EU et al, and even though they wont really be leaving in a literal sense of the word, does their having preferred to leave not make them also leave the "state of mind" you mention? Is the UK thus less "Western" now?
Well, we've mentioned Economy, religion, culture -- what else do you think should have been included and is missing?
It's like saying all that defines a chair is shape, size and its use (for sitting).
Antinuclear groups to this very day are blaming decreased fertility rates on Three Mile Island from 1979. The story has comical staying power as is.
But what I'm saying is that one of the issues in public perception of nuclear energy is that events are extremely rare, so when they do happen, they are huge stories in the media that everyone cares about. Even if something small happens at a nuclear plant, there's a media frenzy about it because of the nature of people's understanding of radiation. He says, mostly jokingly, that if accidents at nuclear plants were as common as they are during other industrial activities, maybe people would get used to the incidents and not worry about them as much.
Very few people understand the nuance of background radiation, sensitivity of detectors, dose units, danger as a function of dose, linear no-threshold, etc.
It occurred in 1975, but information didn't start to emerge until the 1990s, and is still pretty spotty, though you'll see mention in compendia of power-related technologies and risk, such as the IPCC's assessment.
Wikipedia remains amongst the most accessible sources, though there are now published accounts. I only discovered the disaster myself a few years ago; it remains the single most fascinating disaster, with many lessons directly applicable to nuclear power risks from engineering, management, government, preparedness, risk forecasting, response, and lessons learnt (or not). All human factors, poorly amenable to technical solutions.
Hydro dams fall under renewable power, not under nuclear power.
> engineering, management, government, preparedness, risk forecasting, response
Only about 26,000 people died of the immediate flooding itself. Over 150,000, six times as many, died from disease or starvation. All of those deaths could have been avoided, even with total dam failure, given land-use planning, warnings, diversion dikes, and refuge shelters elevated only modestly from the floodplain, plus an immediate R&R andaid mission.
Virtually all the failures had nothing to do with the underlying power conversion process itself. All are intrinsic to any large, complex, institutional engineering project. None can simply be engineered away: they require continual human process management. All are equally intrinsic to nuclear power operations.
Most significantly, the risk book on Banqiao has been closed, and was within a few weeks or months, at most, from the isaster. There is no residual disaster risk. Unlike Hartford, or Chernobyl, or Fukushima, or other nuclear disaster sites, there is no multi-century exclusion zone with a glowing heap of deadly slag at its centre. None of these sites have final management plans in place, in cases decades on.
Banqiao is now home to tens of millions of inhabitants, and a few memories of what went wrong.
Proponents of nuclear power assume that we can assess risks with tails not of the decade or so of Banqiao, but of 100, 1,000, 1 million years. Utterly outside the scope of any human institutions, or of the human species itself.
Our models of risks and of costs fail us....
The problems with nuclear power are massive, long-tailed, systemic and potentially existential. The same cannot be said of a wind farm or solar array. There is no significant 10,000 year threat from wind power, or solar power. We're not risking 30 - 60 km exclusion zones, on an unplanned basis, of which we've created at least four in the half-decade of significant nuclear energy applications: Hanford, Washington, Three Mile Island, Pennsyvania, Chernobyl, Ukraine, and Fukushima, Japan. And this is with a global plant of some 450 operating nuclear power plants as of 2017....
If the total experience has been, say, 500 reactors, over 50 years, or 25,000 reactor-years of experience, and we've experienced at least four major disasters, then our failure rate is 0.016%.
The global share of nuclear power generation in 2012 was about 10%. Which means that without allowing for increased electrical consumption within existing or extending to developing nations, the plant count would have to increase tenfold.
Holding the reactor-year failure rate constant would mean 80 core meltdowns per century. Reducing that to the present rate of four meltdowns/century would require reducing the failure rate to 0.0008%. That's five nines, if anyone's counting.
Five nines on a process involving weather, politics, business, social upheaval, terrorism, sabotage, individual psychology, group psychology, climate, communications, response, preparedness....