Mudita Journal

Think nuclear power is dangerous? Try anything else.

March 19, 2011 · Filed under: Current Events, Health, Politics

See the article “How to make a nuclear reactor that can’t have a meltdown” for fascinating information about how nuclear power generators can be built — and have been built — that have zero chance of a meltdown, even in the worst case scenario.

This part is particularly relevant to our conversations today about the dangers of nuclear power:

To put it in perspective, in 2008 Next Big Future calculated how many people are killed per terawatt-hour of electricity generated. On average, there are 161 fatalities related to energy generation from coal for each one of those terawatt-hours, which comprise a quarter of the energy we use on Earth. 36 people die per TWh of oil energy, which is 40% of our energy use. Nuclear power has a deaths per TWh rate of only 0.04 while producing 6% of our energy, which makes it about ten times safer than solar power once you take into account how many people fall off roofs while installing it, and twice as safe as hydro power.

Nuclear power: Twice as safe as hydro, 10x safer than solar, and 1000x as safe as coal or oil.

Among energy idealists, solar power often gets credit for being safe — “We’re just capturing what the sun already gives us!” — but just imagine the environmental catastrophes if those incredibly toxic solar panels had washed out to sea during the tsunami in Japan.

  • Anonymous

    It is not about how much more energy we can produce but how much less energy we can use. Calling something that creates deadly toxic waste that lasts for 10s of thousand of years safe is not  logical. 

    USA Radiation Plume MapsI am working on a new site nuclearpowerdanger.com I  have created some radioactive plume maps  based  solely on wind. Working  on more specific map methodology.http://www.nuclearpowerdanger.com/plume-maps/sitemap-nuclear-power-plant-plumes-25mi.php These are existing plumes of radiation caused by “normal” releases. My methodology is outlined here http://www.nuclearpowerdanger.com/plume-maps/methodology.phpJorn

  • JornRash

    It is not about how much more energy we can produce but how much less energy we can use. Calling something that creates deadly toxic waste that lasts for 10s of thousand of years safe is not  logical. 

    USA Radiation Plume MapsI am working on a new site nuclearpowerdanger.com I  have created some radioactive plume maps  based  solely on wind. Working  on more specific map methodology.http://www.nuclearpowerdanger.com/plume-maps/sitemap-nuclear-power-plant-plumes-25mi.php These are existing plumes of radiation caused by “normal” releases. My methodology is outlined here http://www.nuclearpowerdanger.com/plume-maps/methodology.phpJorn

    • Matt O’Neill

      The solar industry has grown to become one of the leading emitters of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). Hexafluoroethane has a global warming potential that is 12,000 times higher than CO2, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is 100 percent manufactured by humans, and survives 10,000 years once released into the atmosphere. Nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times higher than CO2, and SF6, the most treacherous greenhouse gas, is over 23,000 times more threatening.

      So not only does solar produce toxic gases lasting 10,000 years, but let’s not forget that the reason Nuclear Waste is so “toxic” is because it’s still 97% fissionable. This is because fear mongers pushed stupid policies banning the recycling of nuclear waste… which is like throwing out a pencil after sharpening it only once (this ban has been lifted more recently and hopefully will lead to major over-hauls to make Nuclear even safer).

      If that wasn’t enough nearly 1,800,000 acres have been requested by the solar industry. Destroying the habitats of thousands of species, including some that are endangered (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_tortoise).

      Speaking of which, you’re not getting much power for the amount of environment you’re destroying (4,000 acres produces 392 Megawatts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility).Comparatively, a single nuclear station with only 2 reactors produce 1,100 Megawatts each. With less cost of human life, less damage to the environment and greatly less damage to other species. The saddest part is that fear mongers like to ignore that they’re making nuclear technology less safe than it could be.

      If you want to call hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind safe/clean energy, Nuclear has them all beat by a long shot.