1. Rather than being as helpful toward nuclear’s acceptance as it could’ve been, this vid was dancing around uncommittedly about nuclear’s virtues by phasing it as a question at the end, despite facts and records. Also kind of willfully and maddeningly avoided any peep of natural gas CO2 contributions and hazards, and this “environmentally conscious” waste storage mantra like we still gotta figure out how to do it gets my goat.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. The study is more of a gross approximation rather than a careful study, though I’m confident a careful study would reach the same conclusions.

    1. Doug Brugge claimed that nuclear energy has claimed tens of thousands of lives through uranium mining in the US, and many times that number worldwide. What do you make of this claim?

      1. It is a huge exaggeration. I’m not even sure that there have been tens of thousands of people employed in the uranium mining business.

        The studies I’ve read indicate that there was a measurably increased risk of developing lung cancer among early uranium miners who were also smokers. For the uranium miners who were not smokers, their risk of developing lung cancer was much closer to that of the general population – so close that the risk is not measurable on a statistically significant basis.

        Based on the descriptions of early uranium mines provided in Gwyneth Cravens “Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy” they were unventilated places where experienced miners – who had learned their trade in coal mines – felt free to smoke on the job. That act of purposely inhaling carcinogens deeply into one’s lungs, while underground in a dusty, somewhat radioactive environment with airborne alpha emitters was, for some odd reason, injurious to the health of the people who performed it.

        In modern, ventilated or ISU mining, there is no evidence of any additional lung cancer risk. Of course, if the mine is underground, there are some normal industrial risks, but those risks are not as high as the ones accepted when mining a flammable substance like coal that is often surrounded by toxic, suffocating or explosive gases like CO, CO2 or CH4.

        1. It has also been claimed that the Church Rock spill in 1979 led to much environmental damage and significant health impacts on indigenous peoples in the area. The sources of this information seem a little vague, as it is unclear as to whether or not the uranium at that mine was intended for civilian nuclear energy or the weapons program. At any rate, the nuclear industry has a safety record that still compares favourably to just about every other heavyweight industry. I think I’ll order a copy of Craven’s book.

          1. Its a great read… I’m half-way through it and its both informative and well written.

            Rich Harrison
            Charlotte, NC

        2. I may have misread the claims. I think Brugge was referring to the nuclear industry as a whole. Nonetheless, the figures that are provided on this still appear to be exaggerated. This same man also claimed that nuclear carbon intensity could also exceed that of coal. Sorry Mr Brugge, I don’t buy it.

        1. It could be just that, he has a book titled ‘Nuclear Power’s dirty secret’. That title alone would make me suspicious of the arguments used by such a book, and indeed the motives behind it all.

          1. Great head’s up for me by Josh!


            Never leave a roach unturned I say, and it’s curious that not only there’s no live comments section here, but Brugge doesn’t even answer pro-nuclear e-mail but will jump at mass book purchase questions. Mr. Non-PC here would like to see his site plummeted with hefty questions that surfers can’t miss. Hey, he wants to shut down an entire industry — and your professions — cold and skip away whistling to the bank, so yea!

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

  3. The 5-15 thousand deaths is certainly an exaggeration but at least this gets people thinking about things from a different perspective. Also, nuclear energy has been great for anti-proliferation but being the one sure method to dispose of warhead pits with a useful benefit. Nuclear medicine has certainly saved more lives than radiation has ever taken as well.

  4. The report also don’t factor in the people saved by nuclear medicine and other such nuclear related activities. If you counted imaging and radiotherapy and various other non-power related goingson, the number would be substantially larger.

  5. Not that this is news.
    A few decades ago Petr Beckmann wrote a the book _The Health Hazards of *NOT* going Nuclear_

    1. Thanks for the tip. I read his book _A History of Pi_ years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just ordered a copy of this one…

      Rich Harrison
      Charlotte, NC

  6. This article is highly biased. It ignores the fact that any power source that doesn’t use carbon saves just as many lives.

    Beyond that, nuclear power kills people. Even the IAEA admits 16,000 people will die of cancer from Chernobyl radiation. The consensus value for studies that aren’t pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear is somewhere between 30,000 deaths and 60,000 deaths.

    1. Your comment is sorely misinformed.

      The IAEA makes no such claim. The Chernobyl Forum, which is composed of nine UN or UN-affiliated organizations, puts a conservative upper limit of 9000 eventual cancer deaths that could be attributed to the accident.

      This is certainly an overestimation, because even after almost three decades since the accident no significant increased cancer risk apart from thyroid cancer has been detected with any kind of scientific certainty. The 9000 figure comes from only one paper (written by a researcher at the World Health Organization) which itself cautions that its predictions “should not be taken at face value because of the important uncertainties.”

      You simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

      1. Should be said also that :
        – In the final publication of the Chernobyl Forum, the IAEA logo appears in big, but it’s still a joint report of those nine organization, together with the government of the most affected countries, and the IAEA did not redact most of it.
        – The content of the publication was actually composed by two separate expert group, the IAEA was leading the ‘Environment’ group, but the **WHO** was leading the ‘Health’ group which generated those probable death numbers. The WHO is never using numbers from the IAEA which is not the competent instance as soon as the subject is health impact. On the other hand, the OMS frequently base itself on the UNSCEAR input, which has actually significantly more radiation expertise than the OMS itself.

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