What is more dangerous coal and oil or nuclear power?


I’m doing a debate in a few weeks and the topic is that “coal and oil are more dangerous than nuclear power.” I am having trouble developing arguments, help is needed. I don’t know whether I am affirmative or negative so points for both sides would be useful.

If you are talking about the statistics for deaths from the entire cycles
for each (that is, from raw materials to generating electricity) then the dangers are statistically about the same — Accidents happen.

If you are talking about the effects on the environment, climate, etc, then I would say that the coal and oil fuel cycles are the more dangerous due to the releases from these that can affect the environment.

Do not let yourself fall into the false argument that a nuclear power plant can explode like an atomic bomb — physically impossible due to the low enrichment and design of the reactor core. The problem with nuclear waste is a concern however. Our wonderfully knowledgeable politicians will not allocate the money and resources to fully address the storage and recycling of waste to make the fuel cycle cost effective.

That all depends on how you view danger. Are they more harmful to the environment? Yes but with the flu gas desulferization process, coal is much more environmentally compliant. You cannot base your arguments on just safety. You also need to go with the quality of life. Is it worth it to have the absolute best energy solution out there, but no one can afford it? This is not an easy either or kind of question. Nuclear Energy is clean and more safe today than it was 40 years ago.

Compare data on fatalities – can do worldwide or just US.
Include data on danger of obtaining fuel for the sources, include info on health impact of burning fuels. The issue of no storage facility if a sham. US had plan, keeps getting blocked by environmentalists. Consider how the rest of the developed world is going nuclear – esp Japan and france. Data is very strong that nuclear is much safer.

Dukemac is right, if you look at real world numbers even if you use the most extreme numbers from Chernobyl fossil fuels have killed many many more humans and much more wildlife.

The Chernobyl exclusion zone is one of the most prolific ecosystems on the Earth despite surrounding the worst disaster site ever from nuclear power.

Coal and Oil is a guaranteed danger to our planet if used.
Nuclear power if proper checks and balances are not used could be catastrophically worse. Besides we have to worry about disposing off spent fuel in the future.
Both ways the future is bleak.

Solar power rocks!

…your “question” is way to academic… given the application circumstances, all are potentially dangerous and all are excellent sources of energy… Coal has been used for hundreds of years and we have massive amounts still to be harvested… If Science can put men in Space, :they” can take the sulfur – dioxide waste out of the spent Coal !
My money is on Coal… A Natural resource of abundance. (Let the freaking “greenies” turn their lights out !) …Bring on the POWER !

Anything can be “dangerous” when misused. We need to be open to **Responsible** utilization of all energy sources, including nuclear. We do NOT, however, need to set punitive measures on power companies for using fossil fuels (i.e. Cap and Trade–foolish!).

As of now, we currently have no safe way of disposing of nuclear waste. the closest we can come to a solution is storing it in designated facilities in drums, many of which are not adequately inspected and can leak their contents out of corroded siding and into the atmosphere. Nuclear power is really only in its genesis currently and we’ve only had one Chernobyl so far, but to me its future does not look bright.

The most danger is from not using more of each.

What’s your definition of dangerous?

Actually Dangerous, or Liberally dangerous.

Cause Nuclear power is an actual danger to everything.

Coal and Oil are fossil fuels, and not a real threat to anything (Global Warming = LIE)

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