Friday, May 27, 2011

Project part 2 - environment­ntal impact of the US anti nuclear movement

Coal pollution and more basic facts:

This is going to be a long and arduous endeavor:

From the Clean Air Task Force

Laid to Waste: The Dirty Secret of Combustion Waste from America's Power Plants

Combustion wastes are the solid and liquid waste over from burning coal and oil to make electricity — ash, sludge, boiler slag, mixed together with a dozen or so smaller volume wastes. Every year, over 100 million tons of these wastes are produced at nearly 600 coal and oil-fired power plants. Seventy-six million tons are primarily disposed of at the power plant site in unlined and unmonitored wastewater lagoons, landfills and mines

I also need to research this:

Mercury Pathway Ignored
by EPA Assessment

Recent research suggests that mercury is not stable in most of these wastes and is subsequently emitted.

Cost and efficiency as compared to coal :

1 kg of enriched fuel (@3.5% U-235) will need an input of 7.3 SWU (see glossary) @ US$ 165/SWU, hence about $ 1200. But before this the uranium conversion will cost US$ 12/kg U, so for about 7.5 kg U it costs about $100.
Total cost is thus about US$ 2300 for 1 kg enriched fuel, plus about $240 for actual fuel fabrication. This will yield about 3900 GJ thermal energy at modern burn-up rates, or about 360,000 kWh of electricity (at 33% thermal efficiency), and does the same job as about 160 tonnes of steaming coal for a total cost of 0.71 cents/kWh (US$) - a bit more at lower burn-up.

To see a nationwide list of over 350 coal waste sites in the United States, click here.

Coal Waste

The 1.05 billion tons of coal burned each year in the United States contain 109 tons of mercury, 7884 tons of arsenic, 1167 tons of beryllium, 750 tons of cadmium, 8810 tons of chromium, 9339 tons of nickel, and 2587 tons of selenium. On top of emitting 1.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, coal-fired power plants in the United States also create 120 million tons of toxic waste. That means each of the nation's 500 coal-fired power plants produces an average 240,000 tons of toxic waste each year. A power plant that operates for 40 years will leave behind 9.6 million tons of toxic waste.

Status and Outlook  

Annual Energy Outlook 2011

Natural gas is the coal of the future it seems.Its so depressing I think Ill work more on it later.

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