Unplug what? Unplug - everything.
Yes, that's a drastic suggestion; but if you aren't feeling drastic today, you never will.
Nuclear power - is a thing of the past. But it's not going to die an easy death; the nuke profiteers will fight for their profits; which come, please note, never from actual profits made selling energy; but from subsidies paid by taxpayers. They fight to the death. Literally. So long as the deaths are not their own, they are already writing about how happy they are to see a few people die for their nukes. "Everything is dangerous!" they now cry; after paying expert pontificators for decades to pound home the idea that nukes are "totally safe!"
They're not; they never were, and those who said so (me, quietly, Nicole Foss with vast expertise) have been ignored (at best).
And let me say this, too - I'm of the opinion that safe nuclear power might have been a possibility, at one time. But at the outset, engineers who pushed for greater intrinsic safety were ignored because safer designs were also more expensive, up front. As recently as last week- while pushing "third generation" nuclear reactors, the industry once again chose to ignore- and ridicule- engineers pointing out safety flaws.
What's going on in Japan right now is much, much worse than the mainstream media is saying it is. That's partly because the news coming out of Japan is being specifically toned down to slow panic, and because the media feels compelled to repeat bs like "The outer building was destroyed in the explosion, and the inner concrete secondary containment vessel has collapsed - but the primary steel reactor vessel inside was not damaged, and there is no serious danger to the public at this time."
What leaks out, in dribs and drabs, are little bits of information like "we've found cesium outside"... and "US helicopter pilots flying 60 miles away were contaminated with radioactive particulate matter"...
The only way to get cesium outside is if the core of the reactor has melted, and the core is leaking incredibly hot vaporized metal into the outside world. No, it's not Chernobyl- but that really shouldn't comfort anyone. It's not Three Mile Island, either, it's vastly worse. (By far the best whole-problem analysis I've seen is from Nicole Foss, here.)
Public reaction against nuclear power is going to be huge. The push to develop nuclear anyway, will also be huge- and very powerful. In case you haven't noticed- powerful people are currently increasingly convinced they can and should ignore public wishes, "for our own good".
So. You feel you don't want any new nuclear power plants built around you? What can you do about it?
Yeah, sure; write to your Congress people. Call them. Go to the demonstrations; carry a sign. As all the public employees in Wisconsin will tell you - they're not listening much.
Something you could do- that would actually force them to pay at least a tiny bit of attention to you- is unplug. Quit using their electricity. Stop.
Yes; you could. I can tell you that with a little credibility; because I did; more than 30 years ago- and actually; for exactly this reason; nuclear power (as it exists) is an incredibly bad idea. It was the 3rd post I made on this blog. And I'm not dead, I've raised 2 children entirely this way, one of whom has moved back with his PhD in engineering to work with me, one of whom lights his house with LEDs; and am raising another.
Now; before you quit listening altogether, because 99% of you are thinking "sure, he could, but I really can't... just physically cannot." - you could actually make a difference if you just unplugged some of your "stuff".
Long ago, a very nice lady was writing on Dot Earth, Andy Revkin's blog on the NYT, and made the very common statement that "she'd really like to 'go solar', but she just couldn't afford it." Most people believe that, and repeat it so often it becomes "common knowledge", aka; "reality".
So I commented there that actually she could; anyone can; at any time. Here's how you go solar, on any budget. You go out and buy the solar system you can afford, no matter how small. Then- you only plug in the appliances that you have power for. If you don't have the power- then you can't use it. (A big part of why I have no refrigerator.) When you can afford more solar- you add it on. Then you can run more stuff. Not before. (And sure, solar is not the only game in town; just pay attention to the principle here.)
She did not, alas, go out and do as I suggested.
But just maybe- it's time for people to take that a bit more seriously.
So- if you find yourself concerned, and wanting to do something; think about actually, seriously and permanently, reducing your electricity consumption. That way; when the nuke pushers start saying "we must have them, or we will have no civilization"; they will have a little more trouble making that argument stick.
Over all electric consumption is down, in the "developed world". Most of the world has excess generating capacity, right now. But; the pushers are already pushing; claiming it's desperately essential to have more. If, however, civilized people are simply doing with less; one way or another; and general consumption fails to rise- it will be hard to make that stick.
How many electric clocks do you have in your house? How many do you actually need?
Do clocks use a lot of power? Hell, no; but they are the perfect example of our habits, which have resulted in the endless growth in demand. No, the clock uses "almost nothing"- but how many clocks that no one ever looks at do you suppose are running right now in New York City? I'd have to guess hundreds of thousands, since nice clocks, and clock radios, and an extra clock radio for the den, and the one your uncle gave you for college that is running in the baby's room- are a favorite gift, which we cheerfully give and receive and - plug in, somewhere. And never look at.
Ok; only an example of consumption that happens below our radar- and which adds up, over our 100's of millions of people; so that we probably need one whole power plant in the USA - just to run clocks no one looks at. Another example - just the "standby" features of all our gizmos are estimated to add up to 108 Billion Kilowatt-hours per year, just in the USA. If my math is right, that's more than ten 1,000 Megawatt power plants.
And how about the kids' Wii, that's never unplugged. The extra old fridge still running in the garage, that keeps fish bait and beer cool in the summer; but runs all year?
Truthfully; the easiest way to tackle the problem, if you are one who wants to, is to just unplug everything. Then plug things back in- only when you find you need them.
There's a million ways to cut your use. Put motion detectors in each room that control room lights. Etc.
And for a few. Go ahead. Unplug permanently. Go off-grid.
There are millions in Japan who just went off grid; the hard way. And millions more are cutting back; the hard way. It could go better for your household if you were making your own choices; not having them imposed by forces beyond all control.