RE: [OPE] Power

Date: Sat Feb 16 2008 - 09:43:12 EST

> That even the most serious nuclear accidents cause relatively> few casualties --- certainly compared to deaths in coal mine> disasters over the comparable period.
Hi Paul C:
It's not simply a question of how many people die immediately
as a consequence of a disaster. Without doubt, many more 
people have died as a direct and immediate result of coal mining 
disasters than as a result of disasters at nuclear power plants.  
When coal  mine disasters happen, there is loss of life for coal mine 
workers. When nuclear power generation accidents occur, there are
also more far-reaching consequences. For example, for the health
of populations (often working-class communities) living near
nuclear power plants.  Even without "accidents" there are questions
concerning the long-term health of people living in nearby 
communities.  Nuclear power plant accidents can indeed lead to
large-scale displacement and de-population of regions. And, for
how long? Decades? Hundreds of years? Thousands of years?
We don't really know how long is required to make such areas safe
to live in again. We do know, though, that it would require a 
*massive* expenditure of resources (no doubt, paid for by 
the public since the liability of nuclear power companies is limited).
Furthermore, the effects on human populations could extend 
hundreds of miles away from the accident. Thus, Finland and
many other European countries (in addition, of course, to 
the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia) were impacted by the 
Chernobyl disaster. Did the Finns drop dead the next day after
the disaster? Of course not. But, with nuclear power accidents
you also have to look at long-term health consequences. For
instance, the impact of the accident on other species and how 
that then affects the "food chain" and, ultimately, people.
Think of the consequences of the radioactive contamination of 
land, air, and water. 
Having nuclear-power generation is like Russian Roulette - except
the odds are better (than 1 in 6) and the consequences are much
worse (thousands can suffer and die instead of 1). It's a very 
big gamble with human (and other) life.
Instead of favoring nuclear power, we should be favoring more
energy-efficient and Green technologies and opposing the 
tremendous amount of waste of natural resources by 
capitalists and nation states.  We should favor solutions that 
demand that those responsible for the mess (capitalists and 
states, especially in and from advanced capitalist nations) clean 
it up rather than shifting the burden to working people and 
the poor of the world. We need to Think (Marxian)Green, not 
Think Radioactive.
In solidarity, Jerry

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