The first (known) meltdown of a nuclear power generator in the U.S.A. occurred in July of 1959 at the Santa Susana Field Laboratories in Simi Valley, CA. Since this accident pre-dated any regulation of the nuclear industry, no one will ever know how much radioactivity was strewn around as a result. Reasonable people guess the released amount was comparable to what happened at Three Mile Island or Chernobyl, but much less than the ongoing disaster at Fukushima.
The Simi Valley reactor was an experimental "fast-breeder" type, bizarrely cooled by liquefied metallic Sodium, a substance which will explode when doused with water, and burst into flame when exposed to air. Thousands of pounds of this laboratory curiosity remain unaccounted-for. Obviously it has all long since oxidized, and remains in the biosphere as Sodium ions, the familiar Sodium part of Sodium Chloride, table salt.
Except, of course, for such Sodium as absorbed a fast-moving neutron from the fast-breeder, turning into radioactive Sodium 24, which in view of a half-life measured in hours, has long since decayed to the radio stable Magnesium 24.
The point is, this was an experiment that only a national government had sufficient resources to undertake, that has already had disastrous results. And all this is exemplary of the "atomic cowboy" culture of the Santa Susana Laboratories, in which flammable materials, placed in barrels would be dropped into a pit and then ignited by being shot with rifles, a practice which continued, at least sporadically, into 1994.
The point is all commercial nuclear industries are also experimental. Whether it is nuclear power generation or nuclear detonation all nuclear industry is experimental. I refuse to go along with the status quo of painted euphemisms and call such a thing that can kill all life on the planet, a plant. No nuclear facility is a plant, they are all experiments.
Will top management of utility companies, people whose focus seldom reaches beyond the balance sheets of current quarter and perhaps one subsequent quarter, exercise an appropriate level of control on wastes that will be dangerously radioactive for dozens of thousands of years? Will the American nucpublic remain gullible enough to allow this nuclear experimentation, with all of us as subjects, and if so, for what fraction of those dozens of thousands of years? It's all part of the experiment.
For these reasons and myriad others, nuclear power and the nuclear industry are hereinafter referenced as nuclear experimentation and should be labeled nuclear experimentation by the scientific community and any analytical minds who might think accurate language is good and decent.
Every time a new discovery is made concerning nuclear experimentation it is found that it is even less sustainable business practice than ever portrayed. It becomes increasingly obvious that nuclear experimentation is more dangerous, more insidious, than ever portrayed; that the whole industry is based on lying about how costly it all is economically, environmentally, and for that matter, ethically. With hindsight it is also undeniable that the nuclear experimentation industry is based on lying about how costly it all is. If they can, they will obfuscate truth entirely. The works at Santa Susana laboratories didn't even tell their families downwind there might be something problematic in the air. Major fires went unreported as did the 1959 meltdown. Only after a similar meltdown at Three Mile Island was the extent of the Santa Susana experiment revealed.
Already nuclear experimentation has resulted in the destruction of a significant portion of Japan and a region in Europe through accidents alone at what is euphemistically called "plants.' The Fukushima inevitability of nuclear power generation has permanently altered the planet, some areas drastically. There have been two thousand nuclear detonations above and below ground, in the air and in the water, nowhere on the planet is untainted some areas have been devastated than others. You are in an experiment.