Our early efforts with nuclear technology are justifiably judged quite harshly. We should expect nothing less than a nuclear technology in the future that is no more dangerous than a DVD player. For now it does seem foolish to toy with nuclear technology that is extremely hazardous.
A comparison with the thousands of years history of our so-called "mastery" of fire illustrates this view:
"The early matches, including the noiseless match, were dangerous to both end users and the workers that made them.
An agreement, the Berne Convention, was reached at Bern, Switzerland, in 1906 to prohibit the use of white phosphorus in matches. This required each country to pass laws prohibiting the use of white phosphorus in matches. Great Britain passed a law in 1908 prohibiting its use in matches after 31 December 1910."
Over 80% of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the most common disaster in the U.S. today - and all avoidable. (See Fires in Homes are Most Common Disaster in U.S. - Stay Warm and Safe )
"Marie drew the conclusion that the ability to radiate did not depend on the arrangement of the atoms in a molecule, it must be linked to the interior of the atom itself. This discovery was absolutely revolutionary."And:
"For the first time in history it could be shown that an element could be transmuted into another element, revolutionizing chemistry and signifying a new epoch."
The minimum criteria for nuclear technology that is safe should read something like this:
"Driven Nuclear Reactors; these do not rely on spontaneous fission, they produce no radioactive waste, and they do not create any weapons capability."
Related posts -
Driven nuclear reactions on minimum acceptable safety standards for nuclear technology.