By Monitor THE disintegration of Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactors with the evacuation of thousands of people from the threat of radiation exposure makes the advocacy of nuclear energy very difficult. Britain is on the point of confirming a decision in favour of nuclear generation to replace its ageing power stations that depend on fossil fuels. Should the energy minister Chris Huhne start afresh with a blank piece of paper? Can Britain afford a further delay? Nuclear's supporters say it is one of the safest and most highly regulated of all forms of power generation. They point to only two previous accidents of any seriousness -- the partial meltdown at America's Three Mile Island in 1979 and Russia's Chernobyl disaster in 1986; there was minimal radiation exposure at the former and the latter is irrelevant because its design was in the worst Soviet Union tradition. It is also true that earthquake-prone Japan is probably the last place on earth where nuclear reactors should be built. Britain has no such problem and in any case new power stations will be much more resistant to natural disasters than Japan's 30-year-old models. And yet resistance to the nuclear solution is almost instinctive -- the apparent finality of a major accident, the unsolved problem of the disposal of nuclear waste and the possibility that a nuclear power station could be a target for terrorist or other threats. For the moment the jury is out.