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Box 5.3 Low-level radiation
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What about the renewables? While, as we have seen, large hydro may have its problems, there is as yet less data on the new renewable technologies. However, it is hard to see how, for example, wind turbines can present the same risks as nuclear plants. By 2002, with around 31,000 MW of wind capacity installed around the world, there had been twentyone operator deaths, mostly due to falls and injury by blades, and no injuries to the public. By comparison, depending on one’s conclusions about the debate discussed in Box 5.2, the figures for deaths per kWh produced are much higher for nuclear plants (with currently some 350 GW installed worldwide) and their associated systems, including uranium mining and waste processing and disposal, which are problems not shared by the renewable energy sources.