In tegenstelling tot wat mensen geloven, is kernenergie de meest veilige vorm van energie. Die conclusie is onvermijdelijk wanneer je alle slachtoffers die gerelateerd zijn aan een energiebron optelt en deelt door de hoeveelheid opgewekte energie.
'Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)
Coal – global average 170,000 (50% global electricity)
Coal – China 280,000 (75% China’s electricity)
Coal – U.S. 15,000 (44% U.S. electricity)
Oil 36,000 (36% of energy, 8% of electricity)
Natural Gas 4,000 (20% global electricity)
Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)
Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)
Wind 150 (~ 1% global electricity)
Hydro – global average 1,400 (15% global electricity)
Nuclear – global average 90 (17% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)
It is notable that the U.S. death rates for coal are so much lower than for China, strictly a result of regulation and the Clean Air Act (Scott et al., 2005). It is also notable that the Clean Air Act is one of the most life-saving pieces of legislation ever adopted by any country in history. Still, about 10,000 die from coal use in the U.S. each year, and another thousand from natural gas. Hydro is dominated by a few rare large dam failures like Banqiao in China in 1976 which killed about 171,000 people. Workers still regularly fall off wind turbines during maintenance but since relatively little electricity production comes from wind, the totals deaths are small.
Nuclear has the lowest deathprint, even with the worst-case Chernobyl numbers and Fukushima projections, uranium mining deaths, and using the Linear No-Treshold Dose hypothesis (see Helman/2012/03/10). The dozen or so U.S. deaths in nuclear have all been in the weapons complex or are modeled from general LNT effects. The reason the nuclear number is small is that it produces so much electricity per unit. There just are not many nuclear plants. And the two failures have been in GenII plants with old designs. All new builds must be GenIII and higher, with passive redundant safety systems, and all must be able to withstand the worst case disaster, no matter how unlikely. We also must deal with our spent fuel better, something we know how to do (Deep Geologic Nuclear Waste Disposal – No New Taxes).'