Dale Hodgins wrote:Big Oil fires and mine collapses kill people right when the event happens. The nuclear stuff has a very long residual effect and because it spreads through air and water, it may be killing us all just a little bit. Things like that big event in Japan kill a few people on the scene, but they may reduce the lifespan of many people eating from the nearby ocean.
I wonder how many people have been killed when their horse, oxen or water buffalo made a wrong move. Those animals are used for their energy. Then there's all the guys who kill themselves while cutting firewood.
Dale Hodgins wrote:I see most workplace incidents as manifestations of personal failings. Some guys can walk on a roof all of their life and never fall off and some will get hurt during their first week.
Tereza Okava wrote:i was at an event recently where I heard a presentation about the number of worker deaths involved in hydropower. it was surprisingly more than I expected (confirmed in the link above). lots of boots on the ground in earthworks, and in the developing world these boots are paid very little and valued even less. some interesting discussion as a result about how hydro power may not be the clean and perfect solution it has often been touted to be.
Chris Kott wrote:While I don't want to be located downstream or downwind of any nuclear project, from the past or in the future, the anti-nuclear lobby often misses the mark.
If one must resort to whataboutist retorts and exaggerated figures, one's position has already been dismissed.
Yes, the potential for disaster from not only operational PWRs (Pressurised Water Reactors) but components and waste products is unacceptibly high. What we need, in my opinion, is the next iteration of nuclear reactor, and that doesn't get discussed by the anti-nuclear lobby, because that is confusing. Nuclear = bad is much simpler to get across to people not steeped in the technicalities.
So, as mentioned in other energy threads on this site, I can't wait for MSRs (Molten Salt Reactors) to be fully explored. How better to deal with tonnes of "spent" reactor fuel than by running it through a more efficient reactor as fuel, generating energy and decreasing the volume of the waste by a huge margin? By some estimates, we have over a thousand years of current power needs in stores of radioactive waste, and all we need to access it is a type of nuclear reactor that eats it like candy. Enter the MSR.
What is often overlooked on the personal scale is the end-life of those solar panels. If you break one, are you going to have to hazmat yourself and evacuate your house? Because that, for instance, is what some CFL bulb directions essentially indicated, along with directions to not vacuum, as the particles would go airborne, and you'd contaminate the vac. I am not saying that photovoltaic panels are the same in any way as CFLs, but they were also a household product that was supposed to have been safe for household use, and obviously wasn't.
And how many solar panels are required per person to satisfy their lives' energy needs? What are their lifespans? Can they even be recycled? Can the component layers be separated one from the other, or are they inextricably linked? In the event of battery storage, all the same questions need to be asked of each component.
Renewable power is a little different when what's needed to capture it is an electric motor you can rewind by hand, some gearing and bearings, and shaped wooden, or even fibreglass, components. You're not worried, in that event, of a tiny module being crushed underfoot whose mercury would be sufficient to poison that part of the watershed. Even a millpond, whose creation can no doubt be disruptive, causes less potential harm.
What's needed in this space, I think, is rational discussion, not inflammatory, accusatory, imprecise language and dubious fact.