Why nuclear power plants are safer than wind farmsBy Gavin Atkins Oct 15, 2011 7:04AM UTC
It’s been a bad year for safety in nuclear power, following the disaster at Fukushima and a fatality in France.
This just goes to show that renewable energy is far safer than nuclear, right?
In fact, many more people have died this year in accidents relating to wind energy.
A recent disaster at a Chinese wind turbine factory has caused five deaths including, ironically enough, a communist party official. This is the same number of people in total who have died at Fukushima (three workers killed by the earthquake and resulting tsunami, and two of suspected heart attacks) and there are likely to be few if any more.
However, the latest wind power accident is not the only fatal accident in the industry this year – not by a long shot.
A further three people died in a Chinese factory earlier this year; a snowmobiler died in Canada when he collided with a fence surrounding a wind farm; a man died in a road accident while scouting for wind turbine locations in the US, and another died in a convoy carrying a wind turbine in the UK; two maintenance workers were killed in New Zealand after falling from a turbine; a bulldozer operator was killed while constructing a site for wind turbines in a rollover accident in the US; a man in Iowa died in a fall from a wind turbine; a teenager fell from a wind turbine at a US school; and a pilot died when his plane collided with a wind farm meteorological tower in the US.
This is not to count the numerous deaths to wildlife caused by wind turbines that would get the rest of us into big trouble – but for some reason, not the wind power companies.
All of the details from these accidents and numerous injuries caused by road accidents, electric shocks and fires related to wind turbines can be found here.
In other words, by my count there have been 17 fatalities related to wind power so far this year, compared to six related to nuclear energy.
Of course, the Fukushima disaster has also created environmental damage, and until it is cleaned up, has made large swathes of land uninhabitable. But wind farms also take up large areas of land – and they produce far less electricity.