Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan nuclear disaster: real or imagined?

Almost 39,000 people were killed in EU-27 road accidents in 2008. Yet no sensible person demands that cars be outlawed to save lives.

On the other hand, the worst case estimates of the cumulative death toll from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster are less than a million, or approximately equal to the number of EU-27 road deaths over 25 years at 39,000 deaths per year – the EU-27 road toll has fallen dramatically over since 1986, so its 25 year total would, in fact, be considerably greater. Yet anti-nuclear campaigners want nuclear power outlawed because of its allegedly extreme dangers.

In the wake of the disastrous Japan earthquake and tsunami, mainstream media, and in particular televised media, are engaging in an orgy of nuclear disaster speculation. Granted Japanese government and corporate representatives have been something less than vociferous in releasing information about the nuclear situation but this understandable, if not entirely justified, by the undoubtedly very difficult circumstances on the ground in Japan.

So at this point in time it's best to remain calm and take with a grain of salt the scare-mongering being cranked out by the media.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offence but even your estimate is wildly overstated. Even wikipedia says around 50 total.

5:47 PM  

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