Sunday, February 03, 2008

Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

This might not be intuitive, but coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste. See this recent account by Scientific American. Two exerts:
"Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, fly ash—a by-product from burning coal for power—contains up to 100 times more radiation than nuclear waste."

But don't panic just yet:
"The question boils down to the accumulating impacts of daily incremental pollution from burning coal or the small risk but catastrophic consequences of even one nuclear meltdown. "I suspect we'll hear more about this rivalry," Finkelman says. "More coal will be mined in the future. And those ignorant of the issues, or those who have a vested interest in other forms of energy, may be tempted to raise these issues again.""
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