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Deaths from Nuclear Energy Compared with Other Causes

My first reaction to the aerial photos of Fukushima power plant site was: why did they put the auxiliary transformers, that provide power to the plant, and the emergency diesel-generators, that provide power to the auxiliary transformers, on the OCEAN side? They should have been on the land side, protected from earthquakes, and out of reach of any tsunami.

 

The lack of emergency power to operate the cooling pumps caused the reactor cores to overheat, melt and evaporate and the pressure vessel to crack. Gases released inside the concrete building caused an explosion blowing out the walls and roofs.

 

The result of the tsunami was much loss of life, extensive property damage, social and economic stress and an economic recession. 

 

To offset the loss of electrical energy production, Japan needed to import more fossil fuels, mostly high-cost LNG, that caused its balance of payments surplus to be reduced, as the products made with the more expensive energy became less competitive.

 

It is useful to look at the present and predicted future loss of life of the Fukushima events and compare it to other causes of loss of life to place matters in perspective, and to reduce opportunities for some people to take advantage for self-serving purposes.

 

For example: The self-serving, scare-mongering by various global warming/climate change activists and promoters of renewable energy regarding the dangers of nuclear energy shows itself to be irrational after comparing some real-life numbers.

 

FUKUSHIMA

 

Radiation Measurements: Readings of radiation were taken during the June 6 – July 7 period. The values shown on the below map are in nanoSieverts/hr. 

 

The highest readings are 6,400 nSv/hr, or 8,760 x 6,400 = 56,064,000 nano Sv/yr = 56 milliSv/yr, about 15 – 20 times background. The two purple dots close to the plant indicate 19,000 nSv/hr and 206,000 nSv/hr. People were exposed to these levels for a few hours, or a few days, until being evacuated. 

http://jciv.iidj.net/map/fukushima/

 

Deaths and Adverse Health Effects To-Date: Up till now, no one has died of radiation exposure. The main adverse health effects due to the Fukushima accident have been psychological. 

 

Kazuo Sakai of Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences said: 

 

“Since the accident in Fukushima, no health effects from radiation have been observed, although we have heard reports some people fell ill due to stress from living as evacuees and due to worries and fears about radiation. 

 

We know from epidemiological surveys among atomic-bomb victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if exposure to radiation is greater than 100 millisieverts, 100 mSv, the risk of developing cancer will gradually rise. The risk of developing cancer will not rise, if a person is exposed to less than 100 mSv. Most people measured were exposed to 20 mSv or less. 

 

Note: A 20 mSv exposure for a few days before evacuation, say a week, would result is an exposure of 20/52 = 0.38 mSv/yr which is well within (background + manmade) radiation range.  

 

The Fukushima exposures are below the levels that would cause adverse health effects, taking into account exposure from the atmosphere and ingestion from food. 

 

Regarding the thyroid cancers recently reported in Fukushima: there is no clear link between those cancers and exposure to radiation due to Fukushima, as empirical knowledge shows it takes several years before thyroid cancer is detected after exposure to radiation.”

http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-accident-updates.html

 

Estimated Future Deaths from Radiation Exposure: According to a recent study, the most likely number of Fukushima cancer deaths will be about 130 OVER THE YEARS; the estimated range is 15 to 1,300

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-17/fukushima-radiation-may-cause-1...

 

Deaths from Evacuations: After the accident, about 600 deaths occurred due to non-radiological causes, such as mandatory evacuations. Some evacuations were to avoid exposure to radiation, others were due to excessive destruction from the tsunami. 

 

The study estimates evacuations reduced deaths from radiation by 28 OVER THE YEARS; the estimated range is 3 to 245. 

 

Even the “245 lives saved” high-end estimate is less than the deaths due to non-radiological causes.

 

Deaths from the Tsunami: The above numbers are in addition to the about 20,000 NEAR-INSTANT deaths caused by the tsunami itself. These deaths are not related to nuclear energy generation.

 

Deaths From Increased Use of Fossil Fuels: After the Fukushima tsunami, Japan idled almost all of its nuclear plants and used energy from fossil fuels to make up for the nuclear energy.

 

NOTE: With no tsunami anywhere, Germany followed Japan’s lead, idled about 50% of its nuclear plants and fired up old coal plants and is building new ones to make up for the nuclear energy.

 

According to the World Data Bank, Japan’s coal generation increased by 57 TWh, natural gas 58 TWh, and oil 9 TWh through 2011. It is reasonable to assume this remained the same through 2012. 

 

Deaths/TWh/yr from coal, gas, oil, and nuclear-based generation are 24, 3, 19.2, and 0.052, respectively. See URL

 

EXTRA fossil deaths and serious ailments over 2 years: 

 

Coal = 24 people x 57 TWh x 2 years = 2,736 deaths, plus 25,000 serious ailments 

Gas = 3 x 58 x 2 = 348 deaths, plus 3,400 serious ailments 

Oil = 19.2 x 9 x 2 = 342 deaths, plus 2,900 serious ailments

Total EXTRA fossil deaths = 2,736 + 348 + 342 = 3,426, plus 31,300 serious ailments

 

Nuclear = 0.052 x (57 + 58 + 9) x 2 = 13 deaths, plus 54 serious ailments

 

Opponents of nuclear energy are completely irrational regarding the “dangers of nuclear”. Note that natural gas is 8 times less deadly than coal. These deathrates are operative as long as Japan’s nuclear plants are idled!!

 

http://billothewisp.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/fukushima-hidden-epidemic.html

http://www.bigthunderwindpower.ca/files/resources/Electricity_generation...(The_Lancet_2007).pdf

 

FUKUSHIMA COMPARED WITH OTHER CAUSES OF DEATH

 

Deaths from Nuclear vs Coal Energy: If Japan had never adopted nuclear energy generation, accidents and pollution from increased use of coal and gas energy generation would have caused deaths many times greater than those caused by accidents and radiation from nuclear energy generation. 

 

Example: Assuming Japanese nuclear energy production at an average of 250 TWh/yr, annual deaths from nuclear energy generation would be 0.04/(TWh/yr) x 250 TWh/yr = 10, whereas annual deaths from an equal quantity of coal energy generation would be about 50/(TWh/yr) x 250 TWh/yr = 12,500. See below section “DEATHS BY ENERGY SOURCE”

 

In China, the annual deaths per TWh of coal energy generation is much greater than in Japan. In the US, the annual deaths from coal energy generation is about 15/(TWh/yr) x 1,700 TWh/yr = 25,500; the same order of magnitude as US annual traffic deaths of 34,000.

 

Note: Deaths from PV solar-rooftop and IWT energy generation are about 16 and 4 times the deaths of nuclear energy generation, respectively, according to the World Health Organization. 

 

Deaths from Cigarettes: Cigarette smoking causes about 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States each year. Cigarette smoking is estimated to cause the following annual deaths:

 

US: 443,595 deaths per year, of which 49,400 from secondhand smoke exposure; 269,655 among men; 173,940 among women.

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/to...

 

Worldwide: Tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.

http://www.thinkquit.com.au/world_wide_smoking_statistics.shtml

 

Deaths from Traffic and Cancer: World traffic deaths are about 1.23 million per year, and world cancer deaths are about 8-9 million per year; 7.9  million in 2007.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_...

 

BACKGROUND, MANMADE AND OCCUPATIONAL RADIATION EXPOSURE

 

Background radiation comes from outer space (cosmic, solar), the earth (radon, potassium, uranium, thorium), food, and even other people. US natural background radiation exposure is an average of 3.6 mSv/yr; Australia 2.4 mSv/yr; Ramsar (Iran) 260 mSv/yr

 

Manmade average exposure is 2.6 mSv/yr, of which CT scans 55%, other diagnostic & therapeutic 24%, other 21%

 

US total radiation exposure (background + manmade) is an average of 3.6 + 2.6 = 6.2 mSv/yr per person, increased from 3.6 mSv/yr about 20 years ago when CT scans were much less common. 

 

The 6.2 mSv/yr average is misleading, because the majority of people have only x-rays during their lifetime, whereas a small percentage of people have CT scans, cancer treatments with radioactive isotopes, angiograms, stent implants, etc. These people have exposures several times greater than 6.2 mSv/yr during their treatment periods.

 

Example: On October 1, 2011, radiation at a hospital entrance (people walking in and out) near Fukushima in Japan was measured at 0.51 microSv/hr. Someone working at the entrance would be exposed to  0.51 x 2,000 hr/yr = 1.02 mSv/yr which is well within (background + manmade) radiation range. This radiation exposure has to be typed, converted to dose and adjusted with factors to estimate any health impact.

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/53939/radiation-exposure

 

Notable Radiation Events: According to UN and US National Academy of Sciences Reports:

 

– More than 500 atmospheric atomic device detonations released about 70 billion curies; almost all of it is from instantaneous, short-life, gammy radiation, little from medium and long-life isotopes.

 

– Chernobyl, 1986, released about 100 million curies; most of it spread as medium and long-life isotopes over a large geographical area; the plant had no concrete containment vessel, as many other former USSR plants.

 

Radioactive iodine concentrates in the thyroid which may cause thyroid cancer 2-3 years after exposure. Of all the children exposed by drinking milk from 1986 to 2002, 16 years, about 4,000 were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. As of September 2005, 15 had died, with more to come in future years.

http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/CancerRisk.html 

 

– Fukushima Daiichi, 2011, released about 10 million curies; most of it spread as medium and long-life isotopes by the prevailing winds over the Pacific Ocean.

 

– Three Mile Island, 1979, released about 50 curies; the plant has a concrete containment vessel, as do all other US nuclear power plants.

 

Note: Worldwide, nuclear plants without proper containment vessels should be decommissioned and dismantled, i.e., no more Chernobyls!

 

1 curie = 37 billion atomic disintegrations per second = 37 billion Becqerel

 

High Radiation Exposure Occupations: Examples of industries with significant occupational radiation exposure IN ADDITION to the above background + manmade exposure:

 

– Airline crew (the most exposed population), 4.6 mSv/yr

– Industrial radiography

– Medical radiology and nuclear medicine

– Uranium mining

– Nuclear power plant and nuclear fuel reprocessing plant workers, 3.6 mSv/yr

– Research laboratories (government, university and private)


Note: Pilots are more likely to get colon, rectal, prostate and brain cancers; female crew members are twice as likely to suffer breast cancer, and, if pregnant, increase the risk of Down’s syndrome and leukemia for their unborn children; the fetus statutory limit is an additional 1 mSv/yr. An explanation for the pilots may be their sedentary working conditions, the poor airline food, the radio headset and the instrument and radar radiation in the cockpit.

 

Here is a URL which calculates radiation doses for various isotopes, distance from the source, shielding, etc.

http://www.radprocalculator.com/Gamma.aspx

 

DEATHS BY ENERGY SOURCE

 

Excerpt from this article:

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/53939/radiation-exposure

 

Much is written about the dangers of nuclear energy. However, it is the safest source of energy for producing electric power, in accordance with studies by the World Health Organization and the european study EXTERNE based on data from past decades. Any deaths due to future global warming, partially the result of the CO2 from fossil fuels, was not considered by these studies.

 

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

 

The USA: 30,000 deaths/yr from coal pollution of 2,000 TWh/yr, or 15 deaths/yr/TWh, a ratio that will likely remain about the same over the years.

 

China: 500,000 deaths/yr from coal pollution of 1,800 TWh/yr, or 278 deaths/yr/TWh, a ratio that will likely decline, as China implements safer mining practices and more efficient, cleaner-burning coal power plants over the years.

 

Energy Source Mortality Rates; Deaths/yr/TWh

 

Coal – world average, 161

Coal – China, 278

Coal – USA, 15

Oil – 36

Natural Gas – 4

Biofuel/Biomass – 12

Peat – 12

Solar/rooftop – 0.44-0.83

Wind – 0.15

Hydro – world, 0.10

Hydro – world*, 1.4

Nuclear – 0.04

 

* Includes the 170,000 deaths from the failure of the Banquao Reservoir Dam in China in 1975

Willem Post's picture

Thank Willem for the Post!

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Discussions

dennis baker's picture
dennis baker on February 26, 2013

Can you do the same with cancer illness, respiratory illness ? 

In my opinion



We need to replace the fossil fuel power plants, the primary source of GHG. Now!

At a scale required to accomplish this task :

Ethanol starves people : not a viable option.

Fracking releases methane : not a viable option.

Cellulose Bio Fuel Uses Food Land : not a viable option

Solar uses food land : Not a viable option

Wind is Intermittent : Not a viable option



All Human and Agricultural Organic Waste can be converted to hydrogen, through exposure intense radiation!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/DennisearlBaker/2012-a-breakthrough-for-r_b_1263543_135881292.html

The Radioactive Materials exist now, and the Organic waste is renewable daily.

Ending the practice of dumping sewage into our water sources.

Air, Water, Food and Energy issues, receive significant positive impacts .

Reducing illness / health care costs as well !



Dennis Baker
Penticton BC V2A1P9 
cell phone 250-462-3796 

Phone / Fax 778-476-2633 

Jerry Nolan's picture
Jerry Nolan on February 26, 2013

There haven't been and probably won't be any deaths due to radiation from the Fukishima accident.  The radiation levels most people experienced were 20 millisieverts or less.  There is no expected risk of cancer with exposures of 100 millisieverts or less.  Read the Febuary 18, 2013 entry at http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-accident-updates.html

 

dennis baker's picture
dennis baker on February 26, 2013

Willem  you deciding whom lives and whom doesn't ?

Reality is if the job overwhelms your abilities do a job then relinquish the job to someone else.

We need more humans to evolve

Bill Hannahan's picture
Bill Hannahan on February 26, 2013

Dennis, for over 3 billion years life evolved under the forces of starvation, disease, predation and exposure. For 1/2 of 1/1000th of 1/1000th of one billion years humans have used technology to supress those feedback control mechanisms.

Human population has exploded during this brief period of "open loop" mode. If we do not introduce humane ethical and effictive feedback mechanisms, nature will reapply the natural ones resulting in unprecidented human suffering.

 

 

 

wind smith's picture
wind smith on February 26, 2013

Well like horse meat, it may be just as safe and cheaper than beef but most of us, if given a choice, still wouldn't eat it - a personal choice that has a lot of emotion/gut feel around it.

Also Willem, if we do go the nuclear route instead of renewables because it's cheaper,safer, etc. does it make any sense to do any renewables. If so, do we try to make our load very level daily and yearly with demand/response so we don't have to design nuclear generation to load follow. Or would we need NG or some other backup for peak load? Or would you just build capacity to match the peak load and shut down generation as load declines?

dennis baker's picture
dennis baker on February 26, 2013

Bill Hannahan and Willem Post

 

so you both would start executions based on whatever parameters you deem as unworthy, Rather than replace fossil fuel powered electrical generating facilities!

 

 

Thomas Garven's picture
Thomas Garven on February 27, 2013

Dear Dennis:

I appreciate your candor and willingness to bring up the subject of population control or lack thereof.  BUT, I don't think anyone is planning on starting "executions" anytime soon.  

There are however limits to the number of people our planet can support given a certain lifestyle.  Certainly the lifestyle we enjoy in the U.S. is desired by almost everyone on the planet and to some extent; cheap energy has allowed that to occur in many countries.  It can also be said that in the absence of cheap energy; people suffer and death rates soar.     .  

I also don't think that we can continue the type of consumption we have been experiencing for the last 100 years without massive damage to our environment.  While almost everyone I know celebrates a mom with 2 or 3 children - less complementary terms are used for women with more children.  In most social circles today - octomoms are discussed using terms unfit for posting on this website.  

From the many articles I read about population grow in the U.S ; most of it seems to be coming from immigration.  The U.S. and many other countries have realized that continued population growth is not only unwise but detrimental to the rest of society.  Many women [but certainly not all] have realized this and understand that for their children to survive and become healthy members of society; population needs to be maintained at a reasonable level.

Thank you for having the courage to start a discussion about population growth.  It is long overdue.   

 

wind smith's picture
wind smith on February 27, 2013

Well 99.99% of women don't get pregnant on there own. The men in there lives need to take half of the responsibility.

 Also,in relation to the politics of nuclearl, like horse meat, it may be just as safe and cheaper than beef but most of us, if given a choice, still wouldn't eat it - a personal choice that has a lot of emotion/gut feel around it.

Also Willem, if we do go the nuclear route instead of renewables because it's cheaper,safer, etc. does it make any sense to do any renewables. If so, do we try to make our load very level daily and yearly with demand/response so we don't have to design nuclear generation to load follow. Or would we need NG or some other backup for peak load? Or would you just build capacity to match the peak load and shut down generation as load declines?

 
dennis baker's picture
dennis baker on February 27, 2013

I did not initiate anything regarding population, although my idea does allow for growth!

Nuclear power in its present formate is not deployable, nor safe.

My consept is both  

Charles Weber's picture
Charles Weber on March 1, 2013

Atomic fuel is safe enough in the present world. However it is nevertheless stupid verging on insanity. Uranium once burned is gone forever. If an important use for it arises in the future and it is gone, we will be up the creek without a paddle. If that use were the only way to prevent a huge meteorite from wrecking the Earth, our progeny will be cursing us with their dieing breath.

wind smith's picture
wind smith on March 1, 2013
I'm all for eliminating our coal generation ASAP and also limiting our NG generation at least long term. Of course the question how, and in particular for the midwest region. France has the highest percentage of nuclear generation at 90% of capacity. 2004 saw 78.8% of the total Mwh from nuclear with a capacity factor of 77% - low by industries standards because of load following , high during weekdays, low at night and weekends. Some plants are designed to be used for peaking. Most are water cooled via river or ocean but also evaporative towers. Some say France is over invested in nuclear and must  sell power to other countries or dump onto market for space or water heat.  The newest plant under construction is expected to produce power between 9.3 to 12 cents/kwh. They are upgrading the vital safety functions of existing plants and plan to extend life beyond the 40 year design life but still must build  one new 1600 MW plant every year for 40 years. 
If we decide to build new nuclear generation in the midwest region there are a few must knows.
1. Life cycle cost including:
    - cost of and a secure supply of uranium 
    - accurate construction and operation cost based on        
       existing plants or if thorium, breeder,modular or other
       new concept based on operating pilot plant.
    - decommissioning cost or cost to replace old with new
    - accurate cost for waste reprocessing and/or geological 
       storage including existing waste.
    - self insurance fund for any accident liability, like BP in the
       gulf. Once the fund is maxed out yearly earnings can be 
       used for share holders or other operating expenses.                                             2. Realistic analysis of load following capability to determine an accurate capacity factor. If we want a very high capacity factor, how will load following/peaking be managed - demand /response load control, NG or hydro (pumped or otherwise) backup, batteries,flywheel, etc.
3. Can we use existing transmission or do we need more because of size or location of new plants.
4. The absolute necessity of removing all existing "temporary" storage to secure geologic storage.
5. If not air cooled where will cooling water come from - rivers ,Superior or Lake Michigan, ground water,others? At what cost and what are the water politics?
6. Compare above to other options the most likely being wind from the Dakotas,Nebraska, Kansas, Montana and Wyoming. Besides the wind farms themselves the main cost would be transmission from those states to support 80 to 90% of the total yearly demand. The only practical way to generate the other 10 to 20% (back up/peak load) would be Natural Gas combined cycle plants. The cost for this NG backup would be the plants themselves and the gas pipeline if not already existing. The transmission in either 1-5 or 6 would not use eminent domain but royalties payed to land owners yearly at least until they sell the land. This would be done over the next 2-3 decades as our existing coal plants are shut down due to age. As NG gets more expensive a choice would need to be made between more wind or nuclear. By that time we would have real world knowledge from pilot plants about the cost of various nuclear technologies
7. Careful cost estimates would need to be made for 1-5 and option 6.         
 
dennis baker's picture
dennis baker on March 2, 2013

Nuclear is renewable energy In My Formate

Bill Hannahan's picture
Bill Hannahan on March 3, 2013

 

Richard,

Have you calculated how many people will die in aviation accidents if the airlines go back to flying Ford trimoters?

Bill Woods's picture
Bill Woods on March 11, 2013

Davis Carson said, "France generate as little as 10% of their consumed electricity from nukes because they need to export so much when there is no domestic demand. They then need to [import] at times of high demand from Germany, Spain, the UK, etc."

Um, no. In 2012 France generated 541 TW-h, including 405 TW-h from nuclear. It exported 55 TW-h and imported 12 TW-h, for a net of 44 TW-h. That's a minimum of 70% of their consumed electricity coming from domestic nuclear power.
https://www.entsoe.eu/data/data-portal/exchange/

 

Bill Woods's picture
Bill Woods on March 11, 2013

Replied in a new comment above, to reset indentation.

Jean-Marc D's picture
Jean-Marc D on March 12, 2013

What's more, we partially have actually exported pumped storage to Switzerland.

Switzerland could build more hydro storage capacity than us, for cheaper. It just made more sense to export them the extra power at night, and reimport it back during the day. They gain quite a bit of money from it, but it would have been very expensive, and destructive to the environement to forcibly build the equivalent in France.

But in effect, it's our power that they are reselling us with a 12 hours time difference during the day.

Jean-Marc D's picture
Jean-Marc D on March 12, 2013

When the Chinese themselve start to get worried about the safety of their wind industry, it's a sure tell sign that the situation's really bad :

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/10/14/fresh-safety-concerns-on-chinas-windfarms/#axzz2Mzjl50Qw
- "safety concerns, most recently with an accident this week that killed five people"
- "Earlier this year, one worker was killed and two injured by a taut wire while they were working on a Sinovel turbine in Zhangjiakou"

They are also serious concern with the build quality of the Chinese turbines :
http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/23172/ill-wind-for-chinas-turbines-industry/

 

Bill Woods's picture
Bill Woods on March 12, 2013

"Germany exports the energy it cannot handle to France, which uses its hydro plants to balance it, and to the Czech Republic which can only balance a little of it."

Actually, Germany exports surprisingly little energy to France. In 2012, it sent only 0.8 TW-h (of 67 TW-h) while receiving 13 TW-h. Germany's exports go to the Netherlands (34%), Austria (22%), and Switzerland (19%).

https://www.entsoe.eu/data/data-portal/exchange/

Germany doesn't have a direct connection to Norway, though there's one in the works.

wind smith's picture
wind smith on March 13, 2013

So how do you think the Chinese will do with nuke saftey?

Jean-Marc D's picture
Jean-Marc D on March 15, 2013

I'm French and I've seen the ecologist make that claim, but I can insure you there's absolutly no substance to it. It's pure libel.

EDF borrowed money to built it's reactor, and repaid them fully from the electric bill. For more than 30 years, the French governement has been able receive money every year from the profits it's making.

EDF had lower borrowing rate because of the implicit state garantee but that's all there's to it. The dividend the state receives every year more than compensate for that.

Then the ecologists claims EDF by far does not put enough money for dismatlement, they claim it's an outrage, it's absolute nonsense, see UK spends so much more for Sellafield, nobody can do dismantlement at such a low cost. But Sellafield has been used by the military for many years, and was deeply contaminated.

A real comparaison point is how much was spent to dismantle Maine Yankee which was a 900MW reactor exactly similar to the old ones EDF owns. And guess what, it's almost exactly the same amount. EDF give a number that's a little lower, but explain that most of the plant have 4 reactor, so there's economy of scale. Anyway even if EDF number were off by 50% or even 100% it would make any visible impact on the cost of each MWh, over the whole lifespan of the plant.

Bill Woods's picture
Bill Woods on March 17, 2013

"Renewables produced 155 TWh last year. Nukes 150 TWh."

In what country? Worldwide, nuclear power produces more than 2,500 TW-h per year.
http://www.iaea.org/PRIS/WorldStatistics/WorldTrendinElectricalProductio...

Jean-Marc D's picture
Jean-Marc D on March 18, 2013

Do you really oppose me something that was written in 1981, before most of the French reactors were built ? Yes the first few reactor were over budget, and in the 70's the fully state owned EDF wasn't publishing any information about it's financial state. However today EDF is on the stock exchange, and legally required to publish full and honest financing information.

After his election in 1981, François Mitterand wanted to stop the nuclear plant and run coal instead. He quickly found out there was no coal left in France, and that coal was actually more dangerous than nuclear, and would be more costly if imported.

He had been elected on a promise to stop deployement of new nuclear plant, but found himself instead leading the quickest deployement of nuclear in history. That is, until the one China is currently doing

About our current Renewable Energy Program, it's now costly us this year 5 billions euro in total (with co-generation costs added to actual cost), with 2 billions debts that should be paid to EDF but that won't be for another year. It's definitively a very expensive way to try to spare some CO2.

It would be much more efficient to fund a massive insulation of houses instead with that money. First it would solve the problem of electricty consumption peak, and as many house still use gaz, or even oil heating, it would save much more carbon for the same price.

Jean-Marc D's picture
Jean-Marc D on April 2, 2013

This specific document written in 1981 was predicting the imminent economical failure of nuclear power in France, and has been as proven wrong by facts much as it possibly could.

We’re not having an exchange here. You don’t care if the content of the document you refer too to can be proven wrong in minutes. You don’t read them, so you don’t realize how stupid they are in retrospect.

10 wrong documents are not any stronger than 1 wrong document. Learn to read and analyse your documents, and come back with the *one* that’s the strongest amongst them, or learn to write one that reunites the strongest point of all of them.

I K's picture
I K on April 2, 2013

I don’t doubt for a moment nuclear is the safest form of electricity generation but those numbers look wrong to me.

For instance take the USA coal figure, 15 deaths a year per TWh. USA generates near 2,000TWh from coal per year so that would mean 30,000 coal death in the USA per year. That seems quite a high estimate. There definitely are deaths but near 30,000 per year??

Maybe it attributes things that are not so oblivious. I would imagine a coal miners life expectancy is noticeably lower than the average. Think of a heavy smoker …but much worse and constantly “smoking” in the coal dust and volatile matter for a 12 hour shift. So maybe the 30,000 coal deaths per year are not too low an estimate if you count lost life years too

I K's picture
I K on April 2, 2013

Have a look at the average efficency of the coal and CCGT plants in the USA compared to new ones.

Calculate how much less coal and gas you would use if you upgraded those stations to new ones.

Figure out the cost of the upgrades and the savings in less fuel used
Also try to factor in what will happen to coal and gas prices if all those plants were upgraded (so not only do they use less fuel but the fuel itself is cheaper now as demand has fallen for those fuels)

You will probably be suprised.

Also try to figure out how many homes/offices/retail in the USA are eletrically heated and how many could reasonably be converted to gas boilers. Bear in mind an eletrically heated home is heated by marginal coal (~38% efficent) or marginal gas (~48% efficent) and there is a grid loss in bringing the eletricity to the home of about 12%. Compared to a gas boiler which is 92% efficent.

Someone should post about this, the energy saving in upgrading coal and gas plants.
And one about converting homes away from expensive very low efficency eletric heating to v.high efficency gas heating.

Paul O's picture
Paul O on April 13, 2013

No Davis, You are the one getting things wrong, and I wonder why the website’s admin allow a discourteous bomb thrower with shady “facts” to continue spouting abuse at others.

I attempted to follow some of your leads, links, and comments. I found the links did not bear out what you claimed. Unfortunately the way you have spammed your discouteous posts all over this thread made the rest of thread difficult to follow.

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