Monday, March 21, 2011

Safety of Energy Sources

Here is an interesting discussion of deaths per terra watt-hour of electricity generated. I have always been surprised that coal plants generate more radioactivity in the surrounding community than nuclear plants do.

I won't vouch for the numbers being perfect, nor do I think that these rates include the risk of massive failures (like a nuclear plant blowing up). On the other hand, the otherwise fairly safe Hydro has a disaster with 170,000 deaths included in it.

This comparison does seem to put the relative level of risk in perspective. Certainly, there is no risk free alternative to power generation and we should really be focused on what non-fossil fuel options we might have.

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