posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 07:32 AM
I've already stated my opinion in chat during ATS Live when this thread was discussed, but I'll restate my views in more detail here...
Firstly, counting a 'death toll' nuclear power is doomed to be inaccurate because of several reasons. Firstly, it's hard to tell whether a death
was caused by nuclear power. Secondly, they have long-lasting impacts. The natural gas plant may be causing cancer, but after it shuts down, the air
will be fresher in a matter of years. Radioactive waste hangs around much longer and their effects last forever. Therefore, it isn't right to count
up all the nuclear deaths so far and compare the number against natural gas deaths, which is likely already fixed.
Secondly, regarding global warming, why do they have to compare it against natural gas? How about, depending on the location, wind, solar, geothermal
or tidal power? (I oppose hydro-electric, though that isn't related.) If all of our power were generated with these sources, which is usually quite
feasible if only the government were not in love with the private sector, there would be far fewer deaths. It also is a common mistake to ignore the
gas emissions in the other processes of nuclear energy, such as uranium extraction. I don't know if they missed this in their study, but I figured
I'd point it out any way.
Thirdly, we must not forget that the humans can also unleash radiation fury if they want. If Kim Jong-un were more creative (and insane), he can
always bomb a nuclear plant in the US to destroy the nearby cities. There are many of those in the US's east coast, so that won't be hard. The
consequences will be much nicer of he decided to bomb a natural gas plant instead.
Incidentally, I think the researchers already had fixed opinions in mind before conducting the research. Tallying up the death tolls for nuclear and
natural gas seems a rather 'innovative' thing to do and I don't think they'd have thought it up if their initial opinion were neutral. With that
said, this is not necessarily bad since all scientific investigations need to start with a hypothesis.