In Mr. Van Kessel’s letter in June, 2021 responding to Fred Ryan editorial “Memorial for the victims of…what? (April 26, 2021) we did not include the data he provided because of uncertainty about their bona fides.
In my letter responding to the editorial on the memorial for the victims of communism the data I provided in support of my response were omitted because of my "unconventional death toll numbers and so they are not specifically included". I wish to take this opportunity to show the readers the data and their sources. I stated that there were 100,000,000 victims of communism. There are many academic studies that have examined this matter. The major source is "The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression" published in 1997. It states the total is 94.4 million dead. There are academics who dispute this total, some say it was higher, some lower. Those who say it was lower argue that some deaths, such as deaths from famine, should not be included. What there is no dispute about is that the total number killed is vast and directly attributable to the attempt to impose communism.
Turning to deaths caused by nuclear accidents and various energy sources there are numerous sources that can be googled to find the number. Data websites I used are Statista, Our World in Data and Research Gate. Popular and respected media sources such as the BBC and Forbes have detailed articles on the subject. It is from these sources that I wrote that there were no deaths at Chalk River and Three Mile Island, Chernobyl had less than 100 deaths (most say 34 deaths) and Fukushima had one death. (The number of indirect deaths is higher and estimates vary widely but are miniscule when compared to those killed under communism).
I concluded my letter by citing deaths caused by various energy sources. In criticising nuclear power, as the editorial does, I felt it important to start from our experience thus far. The data show that on a global scale (Canada's numbers are lower) of deaths per 1000 terrawatt hours coal has 100,000 deaths, hydro 1400 and nuclear 90.
Gerry Van Kessel