My Uncle was a Nuclear Physicist at Brookhaven Labs and lived near the Shoreham Nuke plant in Long Island. He is a strong believer there are good design out there and nuclear power should be a very real alternative to oil. For a man that split atoms for 50 years and worked with their massive accelerator I believer he knows his stuff. So I trust what he says.
When you think public safety you also have to remember the US technology problems were 30 years ago. There have been a few changes don't you think?
Of course building these so close to urban areas didn't make a lot of sense. Likely they need small rural ones and leave the big urbans ones to NG or such. I have no problem living near one.