Some perspective


In the first half of this year, 1,175 people died in pits across China, a fall of 18.4% compared with the same period last year, the state administration of coal mine safety said.

That\’s more than have been killed by all nuclear power plant accidents everywhere, everywhen.

Yes, including Chernobyl.

4 thoughts on “Some perspective”

  1. IAEA/WHO says 56 in the immediate aftermath (you did not want to be one of the first responders while the core was still exposed). But it is true that the overall death toll was remarkably low for such a catastrophic radiation release. At the very least, tens of millions of curies were released, and some estimates have it in the billions. A curie is already a very large amount of radiation, equal to 37 billion disintegrations per second (3.7 10^10 Bq). A billion curies is like a kiloton of radium. Yet prompt excess thyroid cancer deaths officially number just nine.

  2. As a Mining Engineer I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Serf for his insightful comment.

    Actually the Chinese have been making some huge improvements in mine safety, mostly by closing down many small, inefficient and unsafe operations. From Wikipedia I’ve worked out the death toll per million tons produced has dropped from nearly 6 in 2000 to just over 1 last year.

    Then again they were working from a low base; in 2006 the US coal mining industry managed to only kill about 0.03 workers for every million tons produced.

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