Coal Pollution vs. Nuclear Waste from Advanced Reactors

Loy Yang 2.2 GW coal burning plant, Australia

PollutantQuantityunitsThreat
Fly ash 577.800 cu. metres
= 2.070 thousand tonsLung irritant
SO2 56.428thousand tons carcinogenic. and acid
NOx 29.398thousand tons carcinogenic. and acid
Carbon monoxide 2.577thousand tons hemoglobin poison
Carbon dioxide 18.233 million tons Global warming
Source: LYP Annual Report.
The annual poisonous gas waste alone, not including carbon dioxide, is 88.4 thousand tons.

Total Waste from 2.2 GW Loy Yang for 20 years of coal burning

Poisonous Gas Waste

20x88.4 thousand tons
which is more than
1.7 million tons.

Global Warming Gas, CO2

Over 364 million tons
The carbon dioxide will continue to exist until human civilization collapses and the marine phytoplankton, and the tropical and temperate rain forests, take over again. Even if it's buried, its half-life is infinite.

The ARC-100 Small Breeder Reactor:

Source Advanced Reactor Concepts, ARC-100 reactor
22 of these 100 MW reactors will provide the same 2.2 GW total capacity, with more flexibility
In 20 years, each converts 8% of its 20.7 tonne fuel core,
to short-lived fission products, longest half-life 30 years
Some of these elements may be valuable enough, and their radioactive isotopes evanescent enough, to be worth refining from the mix. For example, the 'rare earth' neodymium is a vital part of the permanent magnets in disk drives of this computer.

Total Nuclear Waste, for 2.2 GW after 20 years

= 22 x 20.7 x 0.08
= 36.4 metric tons of fission products
Note also that half the waste is more than ten years old, and therefore of greatly diminished radioactivity.
fuel demand for next 20 years:
= 36.4 tons of un-enriched, 'spent', or even depleted uranium.
average annual fuel consumption and waste for the same 2.2 thousand Megawatt capacity
= 1.82 tons
tons, not thousands or millions of tons.

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