There is something to be said for a rational decision, and there is something to be said for an emotional one, and against each; but when both reason and emotion align, listen. That's where I am on nuclear power, and it's funny that I should read an article today that states the same.
The rational part doesn't support nuclear power either. Though you can safely pursue the argument that nuclear power will reduce global climate change, and other effects of petrochemical pollution, that's akin to choosing herpes over syphilis. Wouldn't you rather wear a condom than have either? No matter the clear benefit of non-carbon power production over the fifty year span of a plant, you are left with waste, and real-estate, that is contaminated for longer than human civilization has existed. That is if there has been no accident. There is no way that nuclear power can be considered economical if fifty years of production creates ten millenia of waste: a 1:200 ratio. Insanity. There is no reason for the most amateur student of history to believe that the future will solve the waste problems (much less should be asked to), or be stable enough to contain the waste which already exists. Contrary logic is 'magical thinking'.
When it comes to an accident, you must consider Chernobyl. Chernobyl has been the worst, and worse than the worst case for Fukushima. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of square kilometres which are poisoned for ever, from a human experience of time. There will be some area of Fukushima for which that is also true, and its coast also. Wasted nature, agriculture and fishery. There will be more of these incidents, of greater and lesser scale, simply because there are so many of the old reactors in operation. Better reactors will be built, and they will have incidents too, if smaller and less frequent. You cannot design away all of the accidents, even with the 'best and brightest': remember Apollo 1 and 13. I won't begin to consider the issue of nuclear proliferation in detail, except to say that the only world safe from that, including nuclear weapons in the hands of states which are all historically unstable, is to 'put the genie back in the bottle' if we can.
So what do we do about energy? The romantics can forget about going back to the forest, because the rest of us are not going to follow. They can also forget about reducing our energy footprint enough that carbon sources can be used sustainably, because it is impossible with human appetites. 'Carbon sequestration' is unproven, and appears to be a creation of the coal-lobby. There is not enough hydrological potential to satisfy demand, even should we destroy every riverine and tidal environment. There's plenty of wind, but it is not consistent enough. Geothermal energy exists in abundance, but is expensive to tap. Solar tends to be low yield. Biomass, has it's own challenges. On the other hand, we can use all of them together, and improve all of them. We also have to look into building thorium reactors.
We have to put a moratorium on new massive power plants, carbon or nuclear: they are not sustainable, nor efficient when any part of the 'externalities' are factored in. Yes, on the short term we will need to cut back and use power more efficiently, and yes there may be an economic cost, neither as great as some warn, nor as relevant as what we lose if we do not. If the Manhattan Project could achieve nuclear mass murder in a few short years, and NASA could use a few sanitized Nazi rocket engineers as the locus behind the space race, surely with massive investment we can maximize the efficiency of the technologies we already have. The Manhattan Project was murder, and the 'Space Race' was a %$#@ing game: this is a far more worthy project.