Thinking on Talks (parts I & II)
JPeterson at bmjgroup.com
Tue Dec 6 16:35:09 GMT 2005
> Like Chernobyl, they may be safe most of the time, but how much of the
> underlying cancer rate is due to the times when they're not?
Not much, I guess. Nuclear power gives you cancer. Coal power gives you
A casual glance at the Chinese coal powered electricity generating system
shows that, each year, it kills more people than all the nuclear reactors
in the world have ever killed since inception.
Not counting, of course, the 'hidden cost' of decommissioning all those
Luckily, China will be deploying a further 60 gigawatts of nuclear
generating capacity in the next 15 years - good news for Chinese coal
miners! Bad news for everyone else if they are run with the same regard
for safety procedures.
Chernobyl went about as pear-shaped as a reactor can go, but the total
deaths were pretty limited. Rather a waste of acres, I have to admit, but
the USSR had plenty of those spare.
It's true that both the government and industry continually lie and cover
up nuclear related problems, but this is as much as result of public
paranoia as it is a cause. No-one minds tens of thousands of people a year
dying in coal mines, but if the risk of Leukemia increases by 5% for some
village near a powerstation, and it's the end of the world.
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