Panic as a result of nuclear accidents
Fear of a nuclear winter
In addition to the possible physical danger from radioactive fallout, millions of people have been exposed to a lifelong psychological immersion of death: permanent fear of invisible contamination. Radiation cannot be detected by senses and might strike at any time. Radiation disasters have an added aura of dread associated with limitless danger, hypothesis of nuclear winter and images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People exposed to radiation have felt to have been exposed to lethal impairment that, if it did not manifest itself in one generation might well make itself felt in the next ones. Nuclear disasters create terrifying rumours about the after effects.
Chernobyl disaster raised the level of fear and increased the belief that nuclear power casts an evil spell over the world. Quarter of the British public started to oppose the use of nuclear power to provide electricity. The danger of Chernobyl is unclear and will remain unknown for years: estimations of radiation induced cancer deaths in former Soviet Union and Europe varies between 1,000 and 500,000.