Nuclear power safety superior to coal
From todays, 4/6/10, headlines:
1. Twenty five workers killed in West Virginia coal mine blast:
Four man still missing at coal facility with history of safety violation.
2. China rescuers press ahead, 115 pulled from mine shaft; 5 dead. Xiangning China, - Effort to reach 33 Chinese miners still trapped in a flooded coal pit forged ahead today.
3. A Chinese coal ship stranded on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, is buffet by strong currents, threatening to spill more oil [in this ecologically sensitive area already damaged by warmer water temperatures.]
Some 80% of China electricity is generated by coal plants. Australia is one of the main external suppliers of coal to China's rapidly increasing coal power plants.
One of the main objections generally expressed to nuclear generated electricity is the safety risk of nuclear power stations. We have one very bad example- the USSR Chernobyl nuclear blast. It was a unique and drastic case of poor plant safety. It had a combination of bad factors: wrong safety designed, no containment over the reactor- a must most of the world, and managed by somewhat primitive control systems. The combination caused large damages, unusable land, and many deaths, probably in the thousands.
But we forget that no other accident of this type occurred any place else. And most important, the damages and lost of life from coal is going on all over the world day in and day out for a long period. They are less dramatic but nevertheless the sum total is much higher than even the USSR accident.
Coal is the dirtiest fuel, damage the landscape on a massive scale, emit vast amount of corrosive air pollutants and its vast use and concurrent massive CO2 emissions is one of the main causes and accelerator of global warming.
Even the unpopular nuclear power is so much superior to coal since nuclear has nearly zero CO2 emissions. Nuclear has the lowest per kWh of all green or low polluting energy alternatives.
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