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> Of course, this is only comparing to fossil sources, not solar, wind, or other renewables (except biomass).

You can include them, nuclear still comes out ahead.

Solar, wind, etc, are not very power-dense. So you need a LOT of installations, building all of them inevitably has fatalities and injuries. (Falls for example.)

From here: http://energyrealityproject.com/lets-run-the-numbers-nuclear... (and you can google tons more sources):


    Wind ………………  0.15 deaths / TWh
    CSP …………………  0.44 deaths / TWh
    Nuclear ………  0.04 deaths / TWh
Or here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-d...

I don't think the exact numbers matter at all.

What matters is that solar is generally perceived to be safer, easier, and cleaner than nuclear at any scale. I feel confident that I could set up my own solar installation safely, and that makes me more likely to do so, regardless of the fatality rates of using ladders or driving to the hardware store.

Because it's easier for clean energy adopters to take small steps towards solar than large steps towards nuclear, I think that's what they will do.

The risk of injury or death while installing solar may be greater than nuclear by the numbers, but if a guy falls off his roof installing a solar panel it doesn't poison the land around him for hundreds of years

If a guy falls off a roof building a nuclear plant, it doesn't poison the land for hundreds of years either. A more fair comparison would be if a PV manufacturing plant had an industrial accident and hundreds of thousands of gallons of nasty chemicals o to the land.

Yes I suppose it would. But if I had to choose (and I really hope I never do) I'd rather have silicon tetrachloride spilled in my town than nuclear waste.

Perhaps not, but the waste from solar panel manufacturing might.


> The paper’s investigation, published in March 2008, profiled a Chinese polysilicon facility owned by Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co., located near the Yellow River in the country’s Henan province. This facility supplied polysilicon to Suntech Power Holdings, at the time the world’s largest solar-cell manufacturer, as well as to several other high-profile photovoltaics companies.

> The reporters found that the company was dumping silicon tetrachloride waste on neighboring fields instead of investing in equipment that could reprocess it, rendering those fields useless for growing crops and inflaming the eyes and throats of nearby residents. And the article suggested that the company was not alone in this practice.

That's not a particularly good argument, though. Are companies manufacturing solar panels breaking environmental laws to cut costs? Probably.

Are companies manufacturing nuclear power components with exotic materials not breaking environmental laws to cut costs? Um.

Moving manufacturing/construction out of China and into the US increases regulatory oversight. It's very likely that nuclear manufacturing done in the US is cleaner than solar manufacturing done in China.

Those numbers are hugely out-of-context. All three are very low compared to other energy sources.


But where do those 0.04/TWh deaths in nuclear come from? Are they mostly from a low-probability high-death count event? Is it 1 person per year over a thousand years from solar, or maybe the whole village at once in a thousand years, from nuclear?

If it really is more along the lines of nuclear is safe, but once every five years a worker at the plant might slip up and be exposed to dangerous levels by accident, then I guess I think the comparison makes more sense.

How many deaths as a result of exposure to nuclear waste products do you project over the next 20,000 years?

Zero. Over time it will only get safer, and since there have been none so far, there are unlikely to be more later.


I see one person posting an argument with numbers and links to the source and another just calling them absurd.

Wonder who I should listen to.

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