How dangerous is nuclear power? Not very

Coal, oil and even solar power all kill more people than the much-maligned nuclear.

The continuing disaster at Fukushima and the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster has focused criticism on the safety of nuclear power. But how dangerous is nuclear energy?

Not very dangerous at all, is the answer. The following image (taken from here) shows the death rate of each energy source per watt produced.

 

According to research produced here, for every terrawatt of energy produced, coal kills 161 people. Oil costs 36 lives for the same amount of energy. Nuclear, however, causes only 0.04 deaths per terrawatt produced.

To put it another way, for every person who dies as a result of nuclear power, 4,000 people die due to coal.

20th Century Fox
Show Hide image

The NS Podcast #150: Englishness, X-men and Equality

The New Statesman podcast.

This week, Helen and Stephen try their best not to talk about the EU. Instead they turn to Boris Johnson’s media strategy, MP’s expenses, and Labour and the idea of Englishness. They go down-the-line to the Lobby with George Eaton. Then Henry Zeffman joins to discuss the politics of the new X-men movie. You also ask us: what does the future hold for the Women’s Equality Party? (Helen Lewis, Stephen Bush, George Eaton, Henry Zeffman)

You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes here or with this RSS feed: http://rss.acast.com/newstatesman, or listen using the player below.

Want to give us feedback on our podcast, or have an idea for something we should cover?

Visit newstatesman.com/podcast for more details and how to contact us.