August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, September 17, 2010

Coal Ash more Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

Scientific American: Coal Ash is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.
Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.

Southern Nevada Health District
On the Lateral Expansion for Reid Gardner Solid Waste Landfill
October 4, 2010
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Moapa Recreation Center 1340 E. HWY 168, Moapa, NV
--From Ian Zabarte, Western Shoshone

Photo: In this Dec. 22, 2008 file photo, an aerial view shows homes that were destroyed when a retention pond wall collapsed at the Tennessee Valley Authorities Kingston Fossil Plant in Harriman, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

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