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Coal Power plants are cheaper to build.

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Addie Douglas

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2y ago
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14y ago

Nuclear power plants don't release greenhouse gases. Coal power plants are cheaper to build.

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15y ago

Depends. The waste produced by nuclear power stations takes millions of years to degrade, but there is not much of it and if properly stored it can be well managed. A nuclear plant produces very little CO2. However, a coal plant is massively inefficient (only aabout 20% of the energy from the coal goes towards electricity) and produces tonnes of greenhouse gases including CO2. In terms of climate change, nuclear power is a far better option than coal-fired.

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15y ago

In a power plant the steam turbine/generator is very similar whether coal or nuclear fuelled. Both methods produce steam to drive the turbine. In a nuclear plant the heat source is the nuclear reactor, in a coal plant it is the coal burning furnace

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14y ago

There could be different ways to address efficiency, but the most meaningful way would be the ratio of energy spent in order to produce the energy generated.

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Both coal fired plants and nuclear plants lose some heat in the generation process - not all of the heat generated converts into electrical power. Coal generates approximately 6.67 kW-h of electrical energy per kilogram1, whereas uranium generates 360,000 kW-h of electrical energy per kilogram2. That means it takes nearly 54,000 kG of coal to generate the same amount of energy as 1 kG of uranium. The good thing about using kG per kW-h is that ratio already factors in all the inefficiencies of the power generation itself, so the only thing left to consider is the energy spent to get the coal and uranium to the power plants.

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Mining requies energy itself, but so does transportation to the electrical generating site. It stands to reason that, since coal is transported in bulk, it is uses less energy to mine and transport than uranium. Let's assume that it costs 1000 times as much energy (not money, but actual energy) to mine and transfer 1 kG of uranium than it does 1 kG of coal. The energy efficiency of uranium would then be approximately 50 times better that that of coal.

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1 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal

2 Source: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html

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8y ago

Nuclear power technically gives off much more energy than coal in terms of the weight of the fuel itself to the amount of power it produces. However, the resources required to utilize radioactive fuel such as uranium for the production of electricity greatly outweigh the power to weight ratio of the fuel itself, and that's not even taking into account the danger of nuclear power. Any competent person must keep in mind that when calculating the efficiency of any given method of the production of power, we must take much more into account than the fuel itself.

In terms of greenhouse emissions, which aren't nearly as deadly as radiation, nuclear power itself produces much fewer greenhouse gasses than a coal plant, but as has already been stated, there are many greenhouse emissions produced to run the plant itself. Not to mention the much deadlier radioactive emissions from nuclear power plants, compared to power plants that use fossil fuels such as coal as a source of energy, which don't produce hardly any radioactive emissions at all. While exact numbers are hard to pin down, Nuclear pollution is indeed far more dangerous and widespread than the much safer emissions and waste created by fossil fuel run power plants, despite that fossil fuel energy production has been and still is more widespread than nuclear energy production. Just because you can't 'see' radiation like you do smoke doesn't mean it's not there, or that it's not very deadly. While the emissions of a more conventional fossil fuel burning power plant aren't necessarily good, nuclear power emissions are far worse, and much more deadly.

Nuclear power produces tons radioactive waste, which need to be stored for millions of years after it is used, where it still continues to pose a threat to and harm the earth in general. Yes, coal power also produces very slight amounts radioactive waste, since coal contains minute traces of radioactive materials like uranium and thorium, but such small amounts do not make a very large impact on even a small scale at all.

Also, catastrophic failures in a system almost cannot be avoided, no matter how hard we try, and when they occur, even small failures at a nuclear plant are always deadlier than huge failures at a plant that uses fossil fuels. Practically speaking, the largest failure at the largest coal power plant could not even come close to what types of disasters that nuclear power is capable of creating. It will most likely be hundreds of years before any catastrophic failure at any nuclear plant can be stopped before harming large amounts of life forms, as can already be done with practically all fossil fuel burning power plants, not to mention catastrophic failures at fossil fuel burning power plants are already much less deadly in the first place.

Overall, nuclear power is much dirtier and deadlier than coal, for example, and its technology needs to be improved to make it a safe and sustainable source of power, a state which will most likely not be reached for hundreds of years into the future.

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9y ago

Lets start off with the dangers of both Coal and nuclear power plants: A coal power plant pollutes a lot of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which is causing global warming and climate change. A Nuclear power plant can lead to a meltdown which can kill from radiation exposure, but does not pollute any CO2's. So in short a Nuclear power plant is 1% to 50% better than a coal power plant.

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13y ago
YesIn terms of energy yield and availability, it most certainly is. A large coal power plant can produce what a wind farm does in a much smaller space with fewer metal and labor resources used. Also, coal deposits in the earth are HUGE. They are so large in fact that they are expected to last over a century even with our rate of power consumption. NoNo, it is not. Coal:
  • produces huge amounts of carbon oxides (harmful to many living organisms and can seriously alter the atmosphere and environment, further damaging others);
  • produces sulfur oxides which have the same effects;
  • can only be obtained from certain places;
  • require rather large energy input to extract usable quantities; and
  • is very much a finite resource.

On the other hand, wind turbines:

  • create no pollution at all, beyond that involved in construction (which per turbine, is very small indeed);
  • are a virtually infinite resource;
  • can be established almost anywhere; and
  • involve almost zero input after their construction (maintenance is all you need to do).
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13y ago

because coal power plants use coal and nuclear power plants use nuclear energy to make electricity!!

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