Let's add up all the coal mining fatalities since we started using it to generate electricity, and stack that against all the nuclear power plant fatalities ever. Then let's figure out how many tons of crap coal plants have dumped into the atmosphere, and compare that figure to how many tons of nuclear waste we've generated. Then tell me which method of generating power is cleaner and safer.Then I said that including Hiroshima and Nagasaki casualties would earn a failing grade and a kick to the head.
I issue this challenge because I'm confident that I already know the answer without even looking at any figures.
But thinking about it, I realized that even if you did include the Hiroshima and Nagasaki casualties, nuclear power still would probably enjoy a better safety record than coal power!
We've been mining coal for a long time and any kind of mining is unsafe. And the occupational health hazards of coal mining include several fatal conditions.
Hey, look at this: "In every year from 1900 to 1945 more than 1,000 coal miners were killed in mining accidents. In many years there were more than 2,000 deaths, and, as noted above, in just the month of December, 1907, there were more than 3,000 coal-mining deaths." Right there, that's at least 47,000 deaths in America alone.
This is also interesting read, and says that coal mining deaths in the 1950s totaled about 70,000 world-wide. (And they cite 40,000 for the 1980s, and 10,000 for the 1990s, which is a total of 150,000--so now we're at 197,000 and climbing.)
That latter link also lists fatalities for other non-nuclear incidents--and it is important to remember that we don't just use coal; we use oil and natural gas, too, and those have their own hazards.
One link said Chinese coal mining fatalities alone number 250,000 since 1949. Hiroshima and Nagasaki? 140,000 and 80,000, respectively, totaling 220,000.
But, what the heck, I know I'm shouting at the wind, here.