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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chernobyl death toll will be much higher, Greenpeace says

There are about 450 nuclear power plants in the world, supplying about 17% of the world's power. Lots more are under development. Don't panic, but become informed ... and worried.

See this story to be very alarmed about there being even the slightest chance of another accident like the Chernobyl disaster (and there certainly is the chance of it). There are already an estimated 200,000 dead as a result of the meltdown (and 93,000 more now predicted). Millions more were affected.

If you want any more convincing about why we need to move away from nuclear, see this paper by David Suzuki.

On a cheerier note (but related to our huge energy consumption), when there were major power outages in both New York and Los Angeles in the past - people were amazed to see the stars at night. Apparently some even phoned the authorities asking about certain bright stars that they believed had to be new.

It might be interesting to have to spend a few days without cars, electricity, television etc. (in summer of course).

i was reading the autobiography of tony benn recently, one time energy minister in her maj's government. you might be interested to see what his views are on this. he's a good bloke, a rare thing in politics - but now retired from parliament.

yes, it's a concern!
The simple fact of the matter is we all need to use less energy and the nuclear option is not much of an option as you have insightfully pointed out.

It’s a sobering thought to consider if China had the same energy usage as the USA we would need another 3 universes to cope with that consumption!
Mind you Aussies are not so far behind on a per capita basis, but at least seems to doing more about in business solutions. Our Govt has been very slow to act and is currently being criticised even by Industry leaders !!

On the question of looking up at the Stars how about also looking down from the worlds outer atmosphere !!

Satellite pictures are available of the World taken at midnight over different hemispheres to indicate the relative brightness and energy use. No prizes for guessing where it all looks like sparkling Christmas trees.

As a matter of interest the calculation for oil at inflation adjusted figures since 1975 is around $80 US a barrel. At current high prices ?? its still miles below inflation.

Best wishes

sorry, i cocked it up earlier.
I agree its a concern but if we see the kind of darkness which prevails in Africa and South Asia not only at night but in the lives of the people just because there is no energy. I think we can learn from Chernobyl to avoid such mistakes rather than putting an absolute ban on nuclear energy generation. Please keep China and India in mind and the price of oil if these countries do not find alternative sources of energy.
Hi Gary,
The stars at night, are big and bright, but not in the Northeastern US.

I grew up south of Boston and recall seeing the major constellations as a child, but nothing like night time on a lake in northern Maine - amazing. Good post, thanks for writing it.
Kvatch blogged about this, too, and took the other point of view. I'm very torn on the issue. He's right about this: I'm just afraid of nuclear power. Period. I would like something ELSE. Also, disposing of the waste could be a problem. I did mention on his blog that it will be the poor people who have to live next door to it.
Good discussion. I haven't heard a nuclear power argument yet that convinces me it will ever be safe or cheap. And clean is a matter of viewpoint - Cherynobyl will have a 40 kilometre sealed off zone around it for about.... 1000 years.
well, alternative power sources, or "green" power should be what is being developed or explored, and for them to continue with this nuclear stuff is ignorant. those big windmills like in your picture are way cheaper, and create absolutely no problems. what is wrong with these people. oh, i know. windmills don't continue to employ people or keep the cancer research in business.
I'm convinced that wind power is the safest alternative. Up to 40% of current can come from wind energy before the power supply becomes unstable. Each windmill has to be serviced twice a year.
It's all the radioactive water that concerns me about nuclear power. Water is difficult to isolate for 1000 yrs, and it's not the everlasting resource policy makers pretend that it might be.
PT - I hear the naysayers about wind, tide and other clean energies - "too ugly, unreliable, won't meet the needs etc.". I think it's time to go for it and develop these things. Iceland is going to be off petro within a few years!

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