When fuels are burned to release energy, the fuel materials don’t just disappearas the old adage goes, “matter can neither be created nor destroyed”but rather they are converted into other forms that we call “wastes.” This is true whether we burn uranium in nuclear reactions, or coal, oil, or gas in chemical reactions, and in all of these cases these wastes are responsible for the principal adverse effects of energy generation on our environment. We can therefore gain some useful perspective on the waste problem by starting off with a brief discussion of the wastes from coal burning, which is the principal competitor with nuclear power as a source of electricity.
KeywordsFission Product Coal Burning Waste Glass Meteorite Impact Nuclear Bomb
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