As bad as Japan’s nuclear emergency could have gotten, it would never be as bad as burning coal. Coal is fantastically dangerous, responsible for far more than 1 million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization.
But the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of those technologies still needs work. Meanwhile, coal is just about the worst possible source of power short of shooting people and burning the bodies. If Nuclear gives us a stepping stone to the sustainable future, we should use it.