It's funny how when something like the Japan disaster happens, the world as we know it seems to stop spinning. All the many other important events and developments, like the growing unrest in the Middle East, the war on public workers in Wisconsin, as well as other domestic and international problems, seem to take a back seat. This is a good article on NPR that shows images from the 1940s and onward of our nuclear age. Other than this, I don't have much in the way of memories of nuclear occurances. I was 7 when Chernobyl happened, and current events weren't exactly the first thing on my mind when I was that age. As far as pop culture goes, the only show or movie dealing with nuclear warfare or radiation that resonated with me was the show "Jericho". I've really wanted to play the "Fallout" series of games, but have not gotten around to it.
As to whether I think nuclear energy is a viable option for our country moving forward, even after Japan, I have to give a hearty "yes". Out of all the alternatives to using fossil fuels to power electricity, I think that nuclear energy is the only way to keep the lights on once we really start feeling the energy crunch of declining fossil fuel production. I think that wind and solar, as well as other alternatives, are years away from being profitable and being able to show a significant return, as well as being able to be produced on a significant scale.