Nuclear Safety

A news report (Dec 4th) says that over 200 coal miners have died this year in South Africa, and the miners propose to strike in protest at safety standards.  That’s 200+ deaths in one year, in one country, yet it’s more deaths than the total caused by the Chernobyl event. 
 
Chernobyl was an old, ill-maintained, Soviet-style reactor, yet it’s the example that the anti-nuclear lobby trot out over and over again.  I don’t mean to play down the seriousness of an event in which over a hundred people died, but let’s get it in perspective.  Tens of thousands, sadly, have died, and continue to die, in coal mining and hydro accidents.  Inundation associated with hydro projects causes huge suffering to poor people, displaces populations, and threatens agricultural land, the environment, wildlife habitats and cultural relics.
 
Nuclear power remains the safest mainstream base-load power generation technology we have.  That’s a fact, not an opinion.

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