[ RadSafe ] RE: BENEFITS OF NUCLEAR POWER vs. [UnplugSalem] Fw: Chernobyl 20 year later

Stewart Farber farbersa at optonline.net
Tue Apr 11 12:56:13 CDT 2006

Hi all,
As would be expected, the letter posted by Norm Cohen is just so much 
anti-nuclear power nonsense and snippets of [mis]information taken out of 
context with no sense of proportion or significance.

The reality of nuclear power in the US is that approximately 100 nuclear 
plants in operation have avoided the operation of  about 100 coal plants of 
1,000 MW[e] generation each over the past 20 years.  Studies of health 
impacts of a single large 1,000 MW[e] coal fired station indicate that each 
unit is responsible for approximately 100 premature deaths per year due to 
genralized air pollution and its aggravation of emphysema, bronchitis, and 
other health detriments due to fine particulates, sulfur dioxide, oxides of 
nitrogen, air toxic emissions like mercury, and more.

So 100 coal fired units [not operating in total due to US nuclear capacity 
being in operation] would have caused about 10,000 extra deaths per year 
[100 coal fired units  x 100 premature deaths/unit] in the general public. 
Over the 20 years since Chernobyl, US nuclear generating capacity has 
avoided --i.e.: SAVED approximately 200,000 people  [10,000/year x 20 years] 
in the US from dying prematurely from air pollution from coal fired plants 
not operating.  Nuclear power a Faustian bargain? Hardly. It is our 
society's best option for bulk power generation with minimal environmental 
impact while avoiding the MUCH larger health and safety impacts of alternate 
forms of generation. And all the talk about conservation is a diversionary 
tactic in muddying the debate, since whatever electricity this nation uses 
has to come from SOMEWHERE. Conservation does not keep the lights on or our 
computers running -- it just minimizes whatever power we generate [or keeps 
down the demand for new units] and the impacts which derive from the 
generating capacity in operation.

Unfortunately, these benefits of nuclear generation are ignored by the 
anti-nuclear propagandists, who would rather present distortions from the 
trivial environmental and public health impacts of nuclear generation in the 
US, and exaggerate to the point of outright lies the impacts of the Chernoby 

Of course, the anti-activists are completely guilty of avoiding any 
recognition of the environmental and climatic benefits of nuclear generation 
when putting all the facts on the table about alternate fuel cycles, or the 
impacts of not having enough energy to run a society and what impact energy 
supply shortfalls have on strategic issues [like going to war to ensure oil 
supply for ourselves or our allies]. Throughout history, nations have gone 
to war for far less than what energy means to their survival and strategic 

Small sidebar: In doing a rigorous assessment of the coal vs. uranium fuel 
cycle back in 1978 for a licensing hearing, I recall that for every coal 
miner killed in mining accidents in the US, two members of the public were 
killed at rail crossing accidents due to being hit by coal transport trains. 
So those who claim coal mining only affects the miners who assume the risk 
voluntarily, many more members of the public die each year than miners due 
to rail crossing accidents based on the approximately 1,000  million tons of 
coal mined and shipped each year now.  Since mechanization of production 
since 1978 has reduced the number of miners needed to mine a given amount of 
coal, and mine safety has improved somewhat, I would presume that the ratio 
of deaths in rail crossing accidents among the public vs. coal miner deaths 
per year is much greater than 2 to 1 today.

Stewart Farber, MS Public Health
Air Pollution Control [UMass '73]
203 367-0791 [office]

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Norm Cohen" <ncohen12 at comcast.net>
To: <Know_Nukes at yahoogroups.com>; <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Subject: [ RadSafe ] FW: [UnplugSalem] Fw: Chernobyl 20 year later

Norm Cohen writes:
.............YADDA, YADDA, YADDA.......................

> Coalition for Peace and Justice; UNPLUG Salem Campaign, 321 Barr Ave,
> Linwood; NJ08221; 609-601-8583
>  _____
> From: UnplugSalem at yahoogroups.com [mailto:UnplugSalem at yahoogroups.com] On
> Behalf Of Frieda Berryhill
> Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 10:06 AM
> To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
> Subject: [UnplugSalem] Fw: Chernobyl 20 year later
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: Frieda <mailto:frieda302 at comcast.net>  Berryhill
> To: letters at delawareonline.com
> Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:54 AM
> Subject: Chernobyl 20 year later
> Letter to the Editor
> April 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident in 
> the
> Ukraine.
> .The city of Pripyat and 1.800 villages have been permanently evacuated 
> from
> the  region. Still 1.2 million people continue to live on lands 
> contaminated
> by low level radiation
> 600.000 soldiers,and  firemen were sent to the disaster zone during the
> emergency. During the past decade approximately 40.000 cleanup workers 
> have
> died

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