I’m not trying to prove any kind of power is inherently safe or dangerous, just trying to learn the relative risks of various kinds of electrical power generation at central plants under extreme, but not impossible conditions. First, let’s list some general kinds:[ol][li]Coal firedGas firedNuclearHydroGeothermalSolarWind farmsWave[/ol][/li]Now assume various natural disasters.[ol][li]Hurricane/typhoonEarthquakeTsunami (only applicable for coastal units)(small but significant) Object from outer space impact[/ol]How do these power sources compare for safety?[/li]
If I’ve left out major sources of power or disaster, please add to my list.
Just to get things started, here’s how I see any of these disasters affecting the plants:[ol][li]A mess, fuel all over, possibly fireA mess, fuel all over, possibly fireA mess, fuel all over, possibly fire, radiation hazard, meltdown, explosions (but not nuclear bomb-type)Dam burst, downstream decimatedSteam & hot water everywhere, explosionsA pile of pipes and panelsBlades spinning off, towers fallingSplat! Decimation of facilities. We’ll have worse problems other places.[/ol]Obviously some of these are harder to clean up and some may not be rebuildable after (if geothermal shifts the magma chamber, it might not be possible to generate energy there anymore).[/li]
Any better analysis?