The anti-nuclear lobby is getting all bent out of shape by the restart of one of the two reactors in Sendai in Japan. The restart of one of the worlds most effective anti-greenhouse-gas and anti-pollution power generation methods really rubs their medieval superstitions right up the wrong way.
Not to be outdone by the Sendai reactor, I thought I would indulge in a bit of Luddite antagonism as well.
Of course the best way to antagonize a superstitious hysterical self feeding fear monger is by referencing some impeccably researched and peer reviewed science and then to couple that to a small amount of simple mathematics to show that nuclear actually saves lives.
So here goes....( all figures rounded to one decimal place)
Take one Pressurised Water Reactor. As it has just restarted, we'll use the Sendai Reactor - See Wikipedia Here
The Sendai reactor produces just short of 13TWh of electricity per year. As they have only started one of the two reactors on the site then that will be around 6.5 TWh.
Or to look forward to the festive season: 2.2TWh by Christmas.
Now as for out impeccably researched and peer reviewed let us take this table from a paper by Markyanda & Wilson (published in the Lancet, referenced by Jim Hansen among others) (Full Paper Here)
I suppose we should figure out what fossil fuel the Sendai nuclear reactor displaces .... From an earlier post here we have the break down of what has replaced nuclear during the shutdown in Japan. (Post is Here)
Basically it breaks down as follows. Nuclear in Japan during the shutdown was replaced by:
So the single restarted Sendai reactor (6.5 TWh/yr) will displace approximately 3 TWh coal, 3 TWh gas and 0.5TWh oil in a year.
Or if we want to get into the festive spirit, the Sendai restart will displace approximately 1 TWh coal, 1 TWh gas and 0.2TWh from oil by Christmas.
Lets rephrase these figures into death and illness using the table above.
The deaths, disease and illness prevented in a year from the single unit restarted at Sendai ( i.e. half of a solitary nuclear power plant) will cut pollution by such an extent that it will:
Prevent the deaths of 90 people
Prevent serious illness (hospitalization) of 840 people
Prevent minor (time of work) illness of 45000 people (yes you read it right - 45 thousand)
Or to simply look to Christmas 2015. This single restart late in the year (August) will.
Prevent the death of 10 people
Prevent serious illness in 91 more
and prevent minor illness in no less than 15000 people
Now whether you are a Luddite or not, that is a hell of a Christmas present for 15100 folk in Japan this year.