The wise answer is neither, thank you.
Asking the nuke industry to address its longstanding issues is not a pro coal argument. Coal's issues are not an answer to nuke problems.
So the argument is a dodge, a distraction from another reality. Threat level? Different time zones, orders of magnitude difference, an utterly laughable comparison. Playing with nuclear gadgets has resulted in the world abandoning areas the size of Delaware and three or four Rhode Islands combined, now no-go zones. Nuclear toys have created a waste more deadly than anything in nature, capable of killing all biota for hundreds of thousands of years. No comparison at all is possible.
Oh but look at all the dead people who have died. We may work that out. Why do we die? It is the way. I point to this, drinking killed the man. He was run over by a beer truck.
To answer the presented impressive numbers graphs and Power Point Presentations there is also this and that serious, statistical and scientifically based analysis that Chernobyl killed a million. Nuke fans insist that is FUD. Coal fans do the same, because the problem? Neither is provable. Both are probable. Probably. Beware of beer trucks.
Coal mining vs Uranium mining? An unattractive couple, no photos at that wedding please. Which one threatens unborn children, 26,587 years from now? We have a winner.
Open question one. Should EPA change standards on safe levels of radioactivity?
Begin by accepting science that says there is no no safe level. Proceed to the calculation of acceptable rates of excess deaths. How many will we kill?
EPA uses Maximum Contaminant Levels, 70 years of consumption, one in a million die.
FDAs single dose Derived Intervention Level standard accepts two extra cancer fatalities in 10,000.
How many folks are aware FDA numbers are orders of magnitude beyond EPA? Let's have a discussion on that, shall we? Good idea. Done!
Environmental Standards for Uranium Fuel Cycle Facilities: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) http://www.epa.gov/radiation/l...
Comments are due June 4, 2014.
It is an open question what happened at Fuku 3. Perhaps someone or something can get in there by 2025 or so and have a look around. In the meantime, radioactivity flows to the sea. How much? Trace amounts already on the US West coast, but neither FDA nor EPA are bothering to measure.
The effort to radioactivitate (sick) the Pacific Ocean is a work in progress. I would have voted to not do that. (Nukes require on the order of a million gallons per minute to cool).
Three of the current problems gifted to us by the the Safe, Reliable and Green Nuclear Industry to our largest body of water are Bioaccumulation, Hot Particles, and clumping. Big fish eat little fish, collect the stuff. Hot particles are bits of the fuel that somehow became shot all about, and clumping is the tendency of this nuke waste to gather together.
It is not evenly distributed in the water, as cream in coffee.
We are all players in the World Championship Nuclear Lottery. You probably will not consume that many hot particles. Probably, long odds on that. But they get better, the chance of Winning over time increases as radiation continues to flow to the sea.
The Master Strategists, or World Class Assholes (my view) at TEPCO have recently said, err, we don't think we can stop this, any of you folks have any ideas? That only took them three years to figure out.
Marcelo, you should fight these idiots, that is your necessary, good fight. They are to blame for this. The nuke industry should be screaming, lining up to lynch them, to get them the heck out of there, yesterday. Instead they cower together, ignore the problem, lie, and point the finger at others. NIMBYS and BANANAS and COAL and GLOBAL WARMING. Business as usual. I am not impressed.
Chernobyl was arguably the worst design of anything in the history of the world, but the Soviets moved. 500,000 plus people involved, got it done. Gorbachev insists the costs are what broke the Soviet Union. But they got it done.
The nuke Industry's current bleeding wound is Fukushima.
Pointing the finger at someone, something else, calling names? Playground tactics of children. Children who now insist on more of the same. No. And until you behave properly, no new toys. We may yet decide to take the ones you have.