Welcome to AtomWatch - world nuclear power news and analysis

This blog is aimed at tracing the world news related to nuclear power development internationally and in particular countries. Being an independent resource, we accept all kinds of opinions, positions and comments, and welcome you to discuss the posts and tell us what you think.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Continuing the theme of Wind VS Nuclear

Yesterday I was checking some articles on energy, and came across a peculiar one in the New American, that compared the human casualties caused by nuclear power and wind power. The author stresses that there has been no fatalities during the entire history of nuclear power in America (Chernobyl is a different case - but still, it was not an ordinary reactor found everywhere in the world). To compare with wind... Let me quote it here.

There is an organization, the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, that keeps data on wind power-elated accidents and/or design problems. Caithness is based in Great Britain, where homeowners have already grown tired of the noise and other wind turbine generated problems. Their "Summary of Wind Turbine Accident Data to 31 December 2008" reports 41 worker fatalities. Most, not unexpectedly, were from falling as they are typically working on turbines some thirty stories above the ground. In addition, Caithness attributed the deaths of 16 members of the public to wind-turbine accidents.

A summary of accidents includes:

• 139 incidents of blade failure. Failed blades have been known to travel over a quarter mile, and that is from turbines much smaller than those being manufactured today. This type of accident has caused some European countries to require a minimum distance of about one mile (2 km) between occupied housing and wind turbines.

•110 incidents of fire. When a wind turbine fire occurs, the local fire departments (without 30-story ladder trucks) can do little but watch. This isn't a problem unless the wind is blowing sufficiently to scatter the debris into dry fields or woodlands — or maybe onto your roof.

• 60 incidents of structural failure. This includes turbine failure and tower collapse failures. While not now a problem for the public — except having to gaze upon at a bent-over wind turbine — it may well become one as governments, under pressure from environmental activists, encourage marginal- and hastily-sited wind projects in urban areas where such an accident could kill and maim.

• 24 incidents of "ice throw" with human injury. These data may be a small fraction of actual incidences, with 880 icing events reported in a 13-year period for Germany alone.

Whole article can be found here.

This type of information is rarely published by advocates of wind. Figures speak for themselves.


Actve said...

Suggest you to provide link to


and encourage your readers to use the Energy Environment Forum and get a link back !
energyenvironmentforum at gmail dot com

Jordan said...

I really enjoy this blog. You have spent a lot of time a research on Nuclear power and try to address issues politely. Keep up the good work.

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