The whole thing is a caution-outrage spiral; public concern creates the need for immensely cautious evacuation, which creates more public concern.
No. The concern is not over what has happened. It's over what might happen.... IF pumps to cool the core and spent rods fail, which they did, multiple times. IF containment fails, which it did. IF highly radioactive water leaks into the ocean, which we now learn did happen. All of these things were not supposed to happen, yet they did. People are risking their lives and improvising 24/7 to fix problems that were never anticipated. If any of those efforts fail, the disaster, already bad, gets much worse. And the plants are actually pretty close to major population centers. What's next? Nobody actually knows. Your precious safety record is preserved only by incredible effort applied to contain "problems" when they occur. What's the cost to clean all this up, in relation to the amount of benefit gained from the plants? How many years will Fukushima be a ghost town because of this incident?
One wonders, how safe would fossil fuels be if we spent real money to ensure their safety (as much regulation as nuclear, for example)? Requiring scrubbers, retiring dirty plants, etc.
Your previous post stated "Statistically, major incidents included, nuclear remains the safest form of electricity production known". You are drawing an incorrect conclusion from a statistically small sample. There aren't that many nuclear plants and they're relatively new. Most plants are well regulated, but there have been many near disasters in the past; we've been lucky. And your rosy outlook doesn't include a future where proliferation allows bad people to get ahold of nuclear material (Iran). Fast forward a few hundred years, and statistics shows there will be many more disasters, whose effects we cannot know because the failure modes will all be new. Fast forward a couple hundred thousand years, when the waste from existing plants still needs to be sequestered, at enormous cost. From that vantage point, nuclear doesn't look so good.
Engineering can only cope with the known. Airplanes are safe because we investigate and learn from past crashes. We cannot afford to go through this process with nuclear. If a nuclear plant is subjected to a natural disaster outside of its engineered ability to withstand the stress, what happens next? Experts in the field don't know, or their warnings are overridden by executives who don't want to pay the bills to mitigate "improbable" risks. Then when the disaster happens, they start by covering it up and minimizing the bad news. And that is what prompts evacuations, and concern about the use of nuclear power in general.