Photo by Kilian Karger on Unsplash

Compared to Nuclear Energy, the Media Bias Still Gives Fossil Fuels a Pass

Environmentalists might have a blind spot for nuclear power.

4 min readOct 9, 2022


It Seems kind of odd to me that one of the most vilified energy sources we have available just happens to have the smallest “deathprint”. The deathprint I refer to is a metric of the number of people who died while building or using an energy source. The metric we’ll use today is deaths per trillion kilowatt hours. This energy source has a lower mortality rate than all of the other major sources of power, including solar.

That source of power would be nuclear.

Even after the disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear power still has a smaller deathprint than every other commercially available power source. But you wouldn’t know it if you followed the environmental movement.

Chernobyl is one of the most thoroughly studied nuclear disasters in history, yet peer-reviewed studies of the event put the maximum death toll at 43 people. Back in 2015, Forbes put together a nice article and table on the subject of deaths in the energy industry. They revised it again in 2018:

Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)
Coal — global average 100,000 (41% global electricity)
Coal — China 170,000 (75% China’s electricity)
Coal — U.S. 10,000 (32% U.S. electricity)
Oil 36,000 (33% of energy, 8% of electricity)
Natural Gas 4,000 (22% global electricity)
Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)
Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)
Wind 150 (2% global electricity)
Hydro — global average 1,400 (16% global electricity)
Hydro — U.S. 5 (6% U.S. electricity)
Nuclear — global average 90 (11% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)
Nuclear — U.S. 0.1 (19% U.S. electricity)

Everything involving carbon, even biomass, has a very high mortality rate. Even with the very low mortality rate of the nuclear industry, nuclear has a much higher regulatory burden and the results show. Worse…