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More killed mining coal in Ukraine than killed by Chernobyl

  1. Nov 20, 2007 #1

    Andrew Mason

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    This week there were 100 people killed in a single coal mine explosion in the Ukraine. According to this report, 4,700 miners have been killed in the Ukraine since 1991. At last count there were about 31 people killed in the Chernobyl explosion and aftermath.

    AM
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

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    And if Ukraine coal is anything like British coal a few 100,000 will also be dying of various lung diseases over the next 30years.
    Still at least it's clean and organic!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  4. Nov 20, 2007 #3

    russ_watters

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    Lol @ "organic". I love it. I think I'll make some posters and hang them up at "Whole Foods". :rofl:
     
  5. Nov 20, 2007 #4

    Mech_Engineer

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    Interestingly enough, coal-fired power plants also exhaust more radiation into the environment than a (properly running) nuclear plant.

    I like to say any petroleum-based product is "organic" (gasoline included). After all, wasn't it plant matter at one time? :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  6. Nov 20, 2007 #5

    mgb_phys

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    Petroleum is (mostly) from zooplankton and blue-green algae so is organic but isn't vegan.
    Coal is plants (mostly monkey puzzle trees -) which were of course grown without any man-made chemicals!
     
  7. Nov 21, 2007 #6
    Gotta love it.
     
  8. May 31, 2009 #7
    coal mining is a dangerous job w/o safety regulations
     
  9. Jun 1, 2009 #8

    Morbius

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    mgb_phys,

    Additionally, the burning of coal puts more radioactivity into the atmosphere than nuclear power plants.
    Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory:

    http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Physicist
     
  10. Jun 1, 2009 #9

    Astronuc

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    http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colside1.html
    Antimony, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury are heavy metals which cause nerve damage in large quantities. Thallium is another. Several were found in the creek and river near the Kingston Power plant in Tennessee after their ash pond ruptured.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingston_Fossil_Plant_coal_fly_ash_slurry_spill#Details

    In another thread, vanadium was mentioned to have some toxicity at low levels.

    While many plants have scrubbers to collect ash which contains heavy metals, many plants do not. NY State has significant mercury contamination in some areas, which can be traced to coal plants located in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
     
  11. Jun 1, 2009 #10

    Andrew Mason

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    I wonder how much atmospheric pollution is being generated by the Centralia PA coal mine fire that has been burning steadily for the last 47 years: http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/centralia.htm

    AM
     
  12. Jun 2, 2009 #11
  13. Jun 2, 2009 #12

    mheslep

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    Yes but why cherry pick. The other relevant figures include (from Unscear):
    -30 dead directly from radiation poisoning
    -100 - non lethal radiation injuries.
    -336,000 people relocated.
    -4000 thyroid cancers in the area, above what pre-accident baseline we're not told.
    -birth defects ?

    compared to thousands of deaths from coal accidents, and thousands more from the pollution from coal power plants.

    Predicting the increase in cancer rates is problematic. I've read elsewhere a common procedure is to take the known amount of radiation downstream throughout Europe, times some factor X over population Y equals Z additional cancers in Europe. But, as the Unscear article states, it is not possible to verify this in any way.
     
  14. Jun 2, 2009 #13

    Morbius

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    mheslep,

    Correct - the product XYZ is derived from assuming a linear no threshold [ LNZ ] assumption.

    However, that is known to give an overprediction.

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Physicist
     
  15. Jun 3, 2009 #14
    According to the Scientific American, 4,000 people die every year mining coal in China:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-coal-and-clean-air-coexist-china

    Here is some stats on the pollution from coal. Multiply by 2 to get the pollution per Gigawatt:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/coal-power-industry-united-states-facts

    When you talk about 7.4 million tons of CO2 per year, it certainly lends some perspective to the problem of disposing of a few tons of nuclear waste a year, especially when most of it wouldn't be waste if they would let us reprocess it.

    Here is a NYT article about coal plants waste probllems:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/us/07sludge.html
     
  16. Jun 5, 2009 #15

    Andrew Mason

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    Why is it cherry picking? I was comparing deaths at Chernobyl to deaths from coal mining in the Ukraine.

    If you want to go further and compare the increased rates of mortality from coal burning you can do that. The increased rates of mortality from Chernobyl cannot be determined because if they exist they are not discernible from the mortality data. One problem with the data is that they were not tracking thyroid cancers very well prior to the accident but started tracking everything afterward. The relocation of the people was an unfortunate result due to the lack of containment at the facility. As far as birth defects are concerned, I am not sure there is any evidence at all of this. Even UNSCEAR says the radiation levels received by the general population were within the range of one to a few times normal background radiation:

    "Conclusions

    The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 was a tragic event for its victims, and those most affected suffered major hardship. Some of the people who dealt with the emergency lost their lives. Although those exposed as children and the emergency and recovery workers are at increased risk of radiation-induced effects, the vast majority of the population need not live in fear of serious health consequences due to the radiation from the Chernobyl accident. For the most part, they were exposed to radiation levels comparable to or a few times higher than the natural background levels, and future exposures continue to slowly diminish as the radionuclides decay. Lives have been seriously disrupted by the Chernobyl accident, but from the radiological point of view, generally positive prospects for the future health of most individuals should prevail." (UNSCEAR )

    AM
     
  17. Jun 5, 2009 #16

    mheslep

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    Implying what? That the relocations have nothing intrinsically to do with nuclear power, it's all just due to poor execution by the people involved? That's a rationalization that one would find silly if the Ukrainians applied it similarly claiming 'these deaths have nothing to due with coal'.
     
  18. Jun 6, 2009 #17

    Andrew Mason

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    I wasn't implying anything. I was acknowledging that it occurred and that it was necessary.

    AM
     
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