Coal is a fossil fuel used to produce power in the United States. Coal contains trace amounts of naturally-occurring radioactive elements. The process of burning coal at coal-fired power plants, called combustion, creates wastes that contain small amounts of naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM).
Does nuclear energy create more waste than burning fossil fuels?
Nuclear power reactors do not produce direct carbon dioxide emissions. Unlike fossil fuel-fired power plants, nuclear reactors do not produce air pollution or carbon dioxide while operating. However, the processes for mining and refining uranium ore and making reactor fuel all require large amounts of energy.
Where does nuclear waste go?
Low-level radioactive waste is collected and transported safely to one of four disposal facilities in South Carolina, Washington, Utah or Texas. Some low-level waste can be stored at the plant until its stops being radioactive and is safe to be disposed of like normal trash.
What state has the most nuclear waste?
One of the biggest critiques of nuclear energy is that it produces radioactive waste in the form of used nuclear fuel, or UNF.
Three out of every four states in the United States contain nuclear waste. Uh-oh.
|State||Metric tons of UNF|