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Certainly, action was much more co-ordinated, determined, and thorough. That is facilitated by an authoritarian state and a command economy, of course.

On a technical level, it seems like they did everything possibe as quickly as possible, unlike the Fukushima clusterfuc. A couple of provisos :

  • Not having to respect human rights makes things a lot easier, in particular you can expose your workers to much higher levels of radiation (then abandon them. Though, to be fair, it was largely the post-Soviet regime that abandoned them.)
  • Not being subject to close scrutiny by the media of the entire world makes it easier to come out looking relatively good.

Would Japan have reacted more effectively to such a crisis if it had happened in the 1980s? That doesn't seem obvious to me. I think there are cultural issues about crisis management involved.

On balance, if I had to live through a major nuclear crisis, I would prefer to do so in the USA or France. Not only because they know the tech best, but because I have a feeling they are generically better at crisis management.

[duck and cover]

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 09:43:42 AM EST
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