I had to share this one with you.
I believe the build up of bugs does nothing for the blade efficiency, so
what the heck, let's stop the thing and hire a helicopter at 20 gallons
of kerosene an hour and clean em! No expense spared in pursuit of subsidy.
And to complete your enjoyment, watch a vulture break a wing and die in
As many people have been DIRECTLY killed in wind turbine accidents in 40
years as in Chernobyl..
Figures for illness due to infrasound, are not even being investigated....
Remember, this is all about SAVING THE PLANET. Do shut up and don't be
Oh dear. Darwin strikes
However, the World Health Organistion estimates that the final toll from
Chernobyl may be about 4,000 early deaths and the figures in your
reference seem to include a lot of people falling off the roof while
fitting domestic wind generators.
Nevertheless, if we look at the deaths per TWh generated (d/TWh), even
including the 4,000 projectde deaths from Chernobyl and a high death
rate from early methods of uranium extraction, nuclear still comes out
as by far the safest fuel.
These are whole life figures, from breaking the ground to decomissioning
and include related deaths, such as mining fuel (particularly coal),
transport, explosions (gas) and the collapse of hydro electric dams, as
Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)
Coal – world average 161
Coal – China 278
Coal – USA 15
Natural Gas 4
Solar (rooftop) 0.44
Hydro - Europe 0.10
Hydro - world including Banqiao 1.4
Nuclear, excluding Chernobyl 0.003
I wonder what Hydro plants caused deaths? I think that only dams
designed and made specifically for Hydro generation should be
considered .i.e. not reservoirs made from old trees and soil and to
which someone has decided to add a small generator.
And 3rd world countries with lax building standards should be excluded
from all categories, since they are not relevant to modern standards
in 1st world countries.
These are whole-life figures, so include deaths of construction workers.
The Banqiao dam mentioned was built in China in the 1950s, with Soviet
help. It was designed for 300mm of rainfall in one day - a 1 in 1,000
year event. In 1975, 1060mm of rain fell in one day - a 1 in 2,000 year
event - and the dam collapsed whem the water overtopped it. The death
toll, including consequential deaths due to epidemic, is estimated at up
to 230,000 people.
The Vajont Dam, north of Venice also caused civilian deaths in 1963,
while the Taum Sauk pumped storage plant dam in Missouri collapsed,
without loss of life, in 2005.
Having now read about the Banqiao dam, the engineers and authorities
made a rather astounding number of errors which surely would not
happen in the West..
The Vajont Dam was more of an unfortunate natural accident.
Taum Sauk, that I have folllowed since the event, was another example
of sheer incompetence. I take back what I said about Banqiao!
I suppose the main requirement is to have nobody living immediately
downstream from a dam, or at least have adequate warning devices.
I estimate that the toll from fatuous posts made to usenet may be about
100,000 deaths. Obviously you're now a prime candidate for early demise.
My claim has about as much value as that made by (some unknown numpty)
at the WHO.
The real question to ask is what is meant by "early death". According to
James Lovelock in one of his books I read recently, the WHO could only
find evidence for some 75 deaths from Chernobyl, some 19 years after the
As Lovelock says, if the 4k people die a week after the accident, that
would be terrible. But they don't. They die, on average, a few days
before they would otherwise.
"The exposure of all those living in Northern Europe to Chernobyl's
radiation on average reduced their lifespan by one to three hours. For
comparison, a life-long smoker will lose seven years of life.
No wonder the media and the anti-nuclear activists prefer to talk of the
risk of cancer death. It makes a better story than the loss of a few
hours of life expectation. If a lie is defined as a statement that
purposefully intends to deceive, the persistent repetition of the huge
Chernobyl death toll is a powerful lie."
Lovelock's Gaia ideas were unfortunately pounced on by the new-age
twerps, which has annoyed him intensely - he is actually a sensible chap
who has stated that he'd be happy to have a year's worth of UK
high-level waste suitably encased in concrete, buried in his back
garden. He'd then use it for energy generation.
"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
That is in fact correct: those are the only deaths DIRECTLY attributable
But of course it doesnt take into account the case of Frau
Panickstricken, whose children say she fainted from the shock of hearing
the word 'Nuclear' on the news, and never recovered, or Ivan Overactiv
whose three bottle of vodka and 60 malborough habit was so rudely cut
short by heart failure, which they attribute to being 'somewhere near
Any predictions beyond that are horrendously suspect. To be fair.
Chernobyl residents have been uprooted and moved, and it wasn't the best
of places anyway..and so any statistics are already poorly controlled.
As with nearly all these studies of low level radiation death increases,
any differences are right down in the noise: there simply is no clear
unequivocal blip on the graphs that is big enough not to be..well. just
The same thing happened post some release of radiation at sellafield.
Some doctor claimed that there had been a blip of cancers, and his maths
exactly coincided with a radiation release that was subsequently
admitted to. However, the mere fact that it EXACTLY coincided is in
itself deeply suspicious. Then you look at the size of the blip, and see
there are blips like that all the time everywhere.
As far as I can tell there is good evidence from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and
now Chernobyl. as to how much radiation will kill you within days or weeks.
There is evidence from the rest of the world as to what the normal
background radiation that we have evolved under, is.
The safety people have connected the few points with a straight line,
and declared the nuclear industry must be something like less than 1% of
background overall to be safe: Any release worse than that is a 'nuclear
Using that straight line, they predicted 30,000-50,000 deaths (IIRC)
from Chernobyl, over a period of 10-15 years.
Those deaths have not happened. That some deaths have, is a certainty.
People die all the time.
More people die from skin cancer, each year from the great nuclear
reactor in the sky, than have ever died from radiation sickness and
radiation induced cancer,altogether, probably.(if you exclude the people
who were simply vaporised at Hiroshima etc)
Its an example of a laudable standard being set, in the absence of
certain knowledge, by responsible people, to ensure that any cancer
increase from the nuclear industry was immeasurably small, being taken
by irresponsible people and used as a predictive tool, claiming
predictive FACT, to frighten people away from nuclear power.
what we do know, is that intense radiation kills quickly.
Exposure to certain medium half life radioactive nucleides, like iodine
and ceasium, does when they enter the food chain, give rise to thyroid
and bone cancers respectively.
inhalation of radioactive heavy particles, like uranium or plutonium,
does lead to lung cancer, as does exposure to Radon (which occurs
naturally). However uranium and plutonium are heavy, and do not travel far.
There is almost no evidence at all that prolonged exposure to low level
radiation does much at all. Such evidence as there is, which correlate
radon emitting areas to lung cancer clusters, is persuasive, but of
surprisingly low value. Radon accounts for the largest part of our
exposure, and it may be 2-3 times normal on e.g. Dartmoor. That is, the
danger from radon on Dartmoor is 2-300 times greater than the danger of
the whole nuclear industry, if straight lines rule. And there is
considerable evidence that straight lines do NOT rule. That in fact up
to a point the body repairs radiation damage: Only if its too much to
deal with, does the cancerous process start, as more mutations take
over and start to run a localised area of the body.
In short as I understand it, the position is that the sorts of
'accidents' that get headlines and cause power stations to be shut in
Germany, are of the order of 100 times less than a holiday in Dartmoor
would do to you.
Chernobyl itself is almost the worst nuclear accident imaginable. No
Western reactor in use could have failed the same way, they have
secondary containment that Chernobyl does not. The whole three mile
island incident is a tribute to how WELL those sorts of secondary
containments work. No third party deaths have ever been attributed to
three mile island.
In short in 50 plus years of reactor operation, we have had off the top
of my head three cases where things have gone badly wrong. Windscale
which was a disgrace, and utterly politically inspired, which led to a
huge release of radioactivity. Masses of people did not die.
Three Mile Island, where again the worst happened, but the secondary
safety systems held up, and although the site will be hot for many
years, nearly all the radiation was confined.
And Chernobyl, the worst ever possible accident. A complete pile blowing
its containment vessel and catching fire, and throwing clouds of
radioactive smoke up into the air. Short of detonating a bomb under a
reactor, its hard to see what could be worse. And 75 people died, about
10,000 thyroid cancers IIRC were caused, treatable by removal of the
thyroid and a daily pill of thyroxine..which is not nice, but its not
death either, and that's really it.
Apart from that its a minor catalogue of minor spills..a door left open,
a fuel rod dropped, a leak in a pipe somewhere..inexcusable, yes, but
not a reason to close down a whole industry.
14 million people in Pakistan affected by flooding. possibly laid at the
door of global warming.
75 dead on an oil rig, and a gulf of Mexico ecosystem laid waste to
some extent,. That's oil. How many die each year in tanker fires and oil
and gas explosions? A lot more than do in nuclear accidents. How many
people die in the wind farm industry. Rather a lot actually. Someone
killed at Felixstowe last month when a turbine blade fell on
him,..collapsing towers and so on kill a few people every year.
How many died at Bhopal? In Chinese coal mines every year?
I cant answer for you guys, but when I look at the worst that not using
nuclear power can do, and the worst that using it can, its a no brainer.
CO2 will hang around a LOT longer in the atmosphere than a hot pair of
gloves will twitter on a Geiger counter. And we can seal the gloves
cheaply and simply, if it worries you.
All human activity produces waste. Nuclear waste is actually one of the
more easily handled and contained of them.
The public PERCEPTION is the that nuclear power is dirty, expensive and
deeply dangerous. The reality is that it is actually not. Its very very
safe. Its been FORCED to be, by regulations, which if applied to ANY
OTHER INDUSTRY would make that industry completely uneconomic. The
public perception is that windpower is cheap clean safe non polluting
and the power comes carbon free. Its none of them.
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