With respect to the radiation effects, Fukushima is a perfect example of uneducated fear and paranoia. When discussing the accident in a radiobiology course, our instructor told us one fact - not a single death to this day from Fukushima can be attributed directly to acute radiation exposure. The number of lives lost was a cause of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and the additional panic caused by immediate evacuation of inhabitants surrounding the plants.
Yet, when the word Fukushima is mentioned, the first image that is seen is that nuclear powerplant meltdown. This topic was recently brought into mainstream public media through an article published in the New York Times:
Although Fukushima is a true tragedy, it was really a natural disaster. It is important to begin to understand what possible effects may be related to radiation release, this accident illustrates the level of mass panic and fear that is induced by any mention of nuclear power. Particularly in the science community, it is important to be careful of understanding radiation and radiological effects. This sentiment should also be shared by news media, as they are the primary point of communication with the general public.