Japan disaster shouldn't put back nuclear cause
Potentially tens of thousands of people have died in Japan due to the impact of a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
At the moment the disaster, which appears to be more in the Three Mile Island category rather than another Chernobyl, can only add fuel to the very vocal anti-nuclear campaigners.
A launch event tomorrow for Sir David King's report into the nuclear possibilities for the UK has been postponed and rumblings have already started in the media about the problems of further nuclear investment.
In hindsight Japan, a country much more at risk from tsunamis than in Europe, appears to have constructed most of its nuclear sites on the coast.
Obviously from a practical engineering and management point of view locating the plants near the coast does make a certain amount of sense.
And of course the chances of an earthquake and subsequent tidal wave hitting the UK are minimal.
But, climate change is a real threat to western Europe as it is to Asia so taking into account its potential consequences is much more important than saying we should halt all nuclear power construction.
Renewable power, from wave, wind or sun, would be in an ideal world preferable to new nuclear.
But, at the moment there's not the capacity for the generation we'd need, so compared with coal the only realistic long-term solution remaining is nuclear.
Obviously the disaster in Japan is still unfolding and while thoughts are with the survivors it will be interesting to see how this will affect the nuclear debate in the long term.