Energy sources (Re: The Motives of Scientists)
B. Alan Guthrie
zcbag at cnfd.pgh.wec.com
Mon Oct 30 17:28:54 EST 1995
In article <46u1ne$uht at winx03.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de>,
Cornelius Krasel <krasel at wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de> wrote:
>[sci.research.careers and sci.econ snipped from newsgroup line]
>John Palkovic (palkovic at desy.de) wrote:
>> There is an interesting letter from Bernard L. Cohen (a nuclear
>> Physicist) in the Oct. "Physics Today." Here are a few excerpts:
>> The uranium impurity in the coal [burned in power plants] and its
>> thorium-230 and radium-226 daughters end up in the ground and
>> eventually become radon, an important radiotoxic that the EPA is
>> killing 14,000 Americans per year.
>> It is interesting to contrast the effects of burning coal for
>> energy with those using nuclear power, which removes uranium from
>> the ground and thus saves people from radon's radiotoxicity. In
>> principle, the 800 x 10^8 tons of coal burned annually in the US
>> could be replaced by mining 40,000 tons of uranium, eventually
>> saving 230,000 lives by removing the uranium from the ground, in
>> addition to the 8600 lives that would be saved by not burning coal.
>> The conclusion is very clear: if one considers the very-long-term
>> effects of radiotoxicity, coal burning is a major killer, and
>> nuclear power is a major lifesaver.
>Unfortunately Mr. Cohen is assuming that nuclear power plants never
>fail. (Besides, I think these numbers have been refuted, but I don't
>have my copy of Frederic Vester's "Neuland des Denkens" here.)
Can you inform us of the casualities from the failures of
Western nuclear power plants?
B. Alan Guthrie, III | Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin
alan.guthrie at nmd.pgh.wec.com |
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