Coal Kills So We’d Better Go Nuclear Then
This is a fun little report. It’s also true (if perhaps a little exaggerated). The burning of coal to generate electricity does indeed kill people.
Labour will this week urge MPs to vote for tougher controls on Britain’s coal-fired power stations forcing them to reduce their emissions and pollution, as new figures show the old-style plants are responsible for 1,600 premature deaths a year. A report from the Health and Environment Alliance has found air pollution from coal plants causes respiratory problems that have a big impact on public health.
The charity released an analysis showing coal pollution leads to health complications resulting in more than 360,000 lost working days each year.
I wouldn’t take that 1,600 figure as being entirely and totally accurate but it is indeed well known that particularate emissions from coal burning do indeed kill some people each year. Fewer now that we filter the smoke, as we didn’t used to, but still some substantial number.
And we might check this against the number of deaths from the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Which has been, so far at least, precisely zero. Or the deaths from Chernobyl 30 years ago. That total is guessed at as being some few hundred so far.
So, the two worst nuclear disasters ever have killed fewer people than the normal operation of coal fired plant does each and every year.
Sounds like we’d better go nuclear then, eh?
Ah, no, sorry, that doesn’t work, this report is sponsored by Greenpeace.