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Coal Mining Produces More Deaths Per TWh Than Nuclear, Study Says

Coal mining in India. Courtesy The Guardian

Everybody’s been talking lately about the threat that nuclear power poses to humans, that’s a known fact. Another fact which few think of is the number of deaths coal mining produces, both direct and indirect, through the various diseases triggered by the fine carbon dust.

I’ve been surprised by this article from ecogeek that outlines a list of the most deadly jobs in energy. Surprisingly, nuclear power is at the bottom of the list, with only 0.04 deaths per TerraWatt-Hour (TWh). Coal is listed at the other end of the list, with 161 deaths per TWh.

So, you can decide by the numbers: which job is more dangerous. As the article author says, a lot of money in nuclear power go into security systems (although these very security systems were the ones that failed at Fukushima). They have an excuse, though: the technology was outdated.

I’m not defending nuclear power or deny what’s happened in March, but as with choosing not to go in any directions, we have to analyze all the risks.

A failing nuclear power plant not only affects its workers, but is also too heavy on the environment for many decades/centuries, which is nothing to joke with.

Wind power is at the middle of the list, because it involved building, working with steel and heavy concrete.

Now, this list is less than what you could call “accurate.” Anyway it presents the reality in an interesting fashion, and this statistic should be used in other, more complex calculations that should impact the way energy is produced worldwide.

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