¿Por qué tenemos miedo de la energía nuclear?

CONCORD (Massachusetts) – La ambivalencia de Alemania sobre la energía nuclear, común a muchos países desarrollados, ha estado bien a la vista recientemente, a raíz de la decisión adoptada por la Canciller Ángela Merkel de prorrogar la vida útil de las 17 centrales nucleares del país durante una media de 12 años después de sus actuales fechas de clausura previstas. Merkel dice que ello contribuirá a que Alemania desarrolle el “suministro energético más eficiente y menos perjudicial para el medio ambiente del mundo”. Los dirigentes de la oposición dicen que el Gobierno está “vendiendo seguridad por dinero”.

Ambos bandos discuten sobre los datos, pero hay un argumento, subyacente a ese debate, sobre la impresión que causan dichos datos. La percepción del riesgo –ya se deba a la energía nuclear, a los alimentos genéticamente modificados o a cualquier amenaza potencial– nunca es un proceso puramente racional y basado en datos.

Tras decenios de investigaciones, se ha llegado a la conclusión de que la percepción del riesgo es una combinación afectiva de datos y temores, intelecto e instinto, razón y reacción visceral. Es un proceso inevitablemente subjetivo, que nos ha ayudado a sobrevivir, pero que a veces nos crea más problemas, porque con frecuencia nos preocupamos demasiado por riesgos menores o no lo bastante por riesgos mayores y adoptamos decisiones que parecen correctas, pero que, en realidad, crean nuevos riesgos.

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