Clean Coal?

A company now plans to run nuclear power plants off the radioactive residue of coal ash.

Winning, David. 2009. “Out of the Ashes: A Small Mining Company Has Big Plans to Sell the Uranium Left Over When Coal Is Burned.” Wall Street Journal (22 February): Journal Report.

“Sparton Resources Inc., a small Toronto mining company, is betting that a global renaissance in nuclear power will create a market for an unlikely fuel source:  waste coal ash. Natural coal contains trace amounts of uranium, and when it is burned to produce electricity, varying amounts of the radioactive element are left behind in the ash. Sparton has developed a method for recovering it and says a project under way at a coal-fired power station in southwestern China is yielding uranium that could be reused as a fuel for nuclear reactors.”

4 comments so far

  1. mark hansen on

    clean, safe, plentiful, and too cheap to meter.
    almost as believable as “Clean coal”.
    i imagine that investore are flocking to purchase “Spartan Resources’ ” stock.

  2. chris on

    Coal ash is already big in construction – most big projects mix it in with cement when constructing buildings.

  3. John W. Farley on

    Uranium is present in very small amounts in coal, as you say. Some of it goes up the stack. I’ve been told that a coal-fired power plants sends more radioactivity up the smokestack and into the environment than does a nuclear power plant, under normal operating conditions. (I haven’t checked out the numbers personally.)

  4. mperelman on

    John, you are correct about the uranium in the coal.

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