Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
25 March 2011

How dangerous is nuclear power? Not very

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

By Duncan Robinson

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.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday - from the New Statesman. Sign up directly at saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. Sign up directly at morningcall.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

 

Content from our partners
Why we urgently need a social care workforce plan
Resolving the crisis in children’s dentistry
Planetary perspectives: how data can transform disaster response and preparation

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.