Guest Post from Will Boisvert

Just above this is a long post by Will Boisvert on the relative risks of nuclear power in the light of the Fukushima disaster. It’s very long, but (in my opinion) very worth reading. I haven’t seen any comparably thorough discussion elsewhere.

For whatever it’s worth, while I’m not competent to evaluate every specific factual claim here, on the big picture I’m convinced. Boisvert is right. The practical alternative to nuclear power is fossil fuels, and by every metric fossil fuels are much worse, even setting climate change aside. (Include climate change and fossil fuels are much, much, much worse.) There are quite a few people I respect who don’t agree; I hope they’ll read these piece and take its arguments seriously. The takeaway: “Even if you accept [the worst-case estimates of the death tolls from past nuclear disasters], there is less than a one-in-25 chance that, next year, a Chernobyl-scale nuclear disaster will kill a quarter of a million people; there is a dead certainty that coal power will kill that many.”

I hope Will will post more here in the future, but as always, who knows.