Twenty-five years ago, the Chernobyl disaster signaled the approaching end of the Cold War. For a generation which had grown up with the ever-present threat of nuclear apocalypse , the world’s first industrial atomic catastrophe became a symbol of the failure of the nuclear paradigm. Both sides stood to lose in a nuclear war and it was the Russians who were the first to begin dismantling their nuclear arsenals, in the process making room for the enormous political changes which were to come.
Now, a quarter century later, Fukushima has arrived in the midst of the Arab Spring. One can only but remark on the similarities. Whereas the velvet revolutions which sprang up in Eastern Europe created democracy, the Arab spring is still in the process of working its way through the Middle East. Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya. Who will be next?