Safer Than Sharks

The Obligatory Link: Nuclear Power Safer Than Sharks

There is, of course, a pertinent quote to offer:

"The risk of dying in a nuclear disaster was below that of dying from smoking, driving, owning firearms, drowning, fire, electrocution and snake bites, the report said."

Now, the one thing I thought was conspicuous in its absence from the list was lightning strikes. I suppose I could make an allowance for that being lumped in with electrocution statistics... but, naturally, I'm not going to. Of course, due to the wonders of Wikipedia, and the thoughtful article writer, we can make a comparison.

From the article, "There have been 31 direct fatalities from nuclear reactors since 1969 – including the Chernobyl disaster", and "This did not take into account the estimated 4000 people who could eventually die from cancer caused by radiation exposure from the Chernobyl meltdown." So, we'll go with a nice, round 4000, since plus or minus 31 shouldn't put it outside the statistical variance. Compared to the ~6.5 billion people currently living (from the World Population entry on Wikipedia), that's a chance of one in 1.625 million. Divided over the 37-year span, it becomes one in 60.125 million instead.

Comparatively, from Wikipedia's entry on lightning, some 2000 people are struck by lightning per year, with an averaged fatality rate of 29%, for a total of 580 per year. Again, out of the world's population, that's one for every 11.2 million, approximately.

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