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Coal ash is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste - fyi

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tahrir Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:57 PM
Original message
Coal ash is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste - fyi
Using several research studies as evidence, the story does make a convincing case that, as it says, the fly ash emitted by a power plant . . . carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy. But that is a completely different statement than fly ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste. What it really means is that radiation emissions to the environment from an operating nuclear power plant actually are lower than the radioactivity emitted from a coal plant through fly ash residues. Thats because the reactor vessel, fuel rods, and any radioactive waste on site are well shielded, whereas fly ash, with small amounts of deadly radioactive substances, simply is emitted into the environment.

http://www.cejournal.net/?p=410

an FYI to those who might be swayed by the BS coming from the pro nuke industry, their marketing can be quite effective.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. ...............
:popcorn:
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tahrir Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. ...
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Union Scribe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:10 PM
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2. Coal must go.
If we make the idiotic mistake of hopping deeper in with big coal because of the Japan disaster, tons of people are going to die.

No nukes? Fine, but for fuck sake no coal, either.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yep. Coal is over. nt
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tahrir Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. traditional energy does what it likes - we need more investment in clean, renewable energy
this post is certainly not an endorsement of coal, just laying out the facts.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:12 PM
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4. What is incredible is how much "special interest science" the nuclear industry has produced
Here is a 1997 analysis of the comparison before it was rewritten as a propaganda point to make the nuclear industry appear more benign.


Radioactive Elements in Coal and Fly Ash: Abundance, Forms, and Environmental Significance
Introduction
Coal is largely composed of organic matter, but it is the inorganic matter in coalminerals and trace elements that have been cited as possible causes of health, environmental, and technological problems associated with the use of coal. Some trace elements in coal are naturally radioactive. These radioactive elements include uranium (U), thorium (Th), and their numerous decay products, including radium (Ra) and radon (Rn). Although these elements are less chemically toxic than other coal constituents such as arsenic, selenium, or mercury, questions have been raised concerning possible risk from radiation. In order to accurately address these questions and to predict the mobility of radioactive elements during the coal fuel-cycle, it is important to determine the concentration, distribution, and form of radioactive elements in coal and fly ash....

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html


This highlights an issue raised by this 2009 article in the Journal of Science and Engineering Ethics. The article questions the method of analysis that is used to support the claim of the nuclear industry that fission is a viable answer to climate change based on the level of associated GHG emissions. Note that this is a variation of the finding in item (iii) "They (nuclear industry) inconsistently compare nuclear-related GHGE only to those from fossil fuels, rather than to those from the best GHG-avoiding energy technologies"
Here again the comparison is to coal rather than to the available alternatives such as wind and solar.

I'd love to hear the response of the nuclear fans to the information in the paper below.



Sci Eng Ethics (2009) 15:1923 DOI 10.1007/s11948-008-9097-y
Data Trimming, Nuclear Emissions, and Climate Change
Kristin Sharon Shrader-Frechette
Abstract Ethics requires good science. Many scientists, government leaders, and industry representatives support tripling of global-nuclear-energy capacity on the grounds that nuclear fission is carbon free and releases no greenhouse gases. However, such claims are scientifically questionable (and thus likely to lead to ethically questionable energy choices) for at least 3 reasons. (i) They rely on trimming the data on nuclear greenhouse-gas emissions (GHGE), perhaps in part because flawed Kyoto Protocol conventions require no full nuclear-fuel-cycle assessment of carbon content. (ii) They underestimate nuclear-fuel-cycle releases by erroneously assuming that mostly high-grade uranium ore, with much lower emissions, is used. (iii) They inconsistently compare nuclear-related GHGE only to those from fossil fuels, rather than to those from the best GHG-avoiding energy technologies. Once scientists take account of (i)(iii), it is possible to show that although the nuclear fuel cycle releases (per kWh) much fewer GHG than coal and oil, nevertheless it releases far more GHG than wind and solar-photovoltaic. Although there may be other, ethical, reasons to support nuclear tripling, reducing or avoiding GHG does not appear to be one of them.
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tahrir Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. the big money has captured most of our institutions today
but at least we can fight back on the www.
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