Some Perspective: Charting the Dangers of Nuclear Energy

It's a bit gruesome to reduce people to numbers, but this table (and accompanying chart) is one more tool to have at your disposal when thinking about both where we get our energy from (and its costs) and what the ongoing crisis at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi means for the production of nuclear energy around the world.

Of course, all of the data used to build this graph, which displays how much each form of energy accounts for the world's total production and how many deaths have been attributed to each form per unit of energy produced, comes from a wide range of sources. Using numbers from the World Health Organization and other groups, this graph takes into account both direct and indirect deaths -- and requires serious verification. (For example, the estimate of 161 deaths/TWh of electricity produced using coal uses the WHO's estimate that coal air pollution accounts for about one million deaths every year.)

For a complete (and lengthy) explanation of where each of these statistics comes from, visit Next Big Future, a technology blog that covers energy policy.


H/T @lmoliva_.