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Coal plants emit ionising radiation

Coal Plant Owner Is Fined Over Cesium Radiation Exposure – NYTimes.com, By MATTHEW L. WALD, 30 Aug 2010, A power plant has overexposed its workers to radiation, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a fine. The plant, though, is not a reactor; it runs on coal.
The commission said today that it was proposing a fine of $24,700 against the Basin Electric Power Cooperative, which exposed 17 workers, six of them above regulatory limits, at a three-unit coal plant in Laramie, Wyo.

The workers were exposed to a radioactive element, cesium 137, that is common in nuclear plants because it is produced when uranium atoms are split. The Laramie River Station, completed in the early 1980s, does not split atoms, but it does use cesium, as many coal plants do.

Cesium 137 emits gamma rays. In coal plants and other industrial plants, the amount of radiation that passes through the material being measured gives an indication of its content, just as an X-ray gives an indication of what is inside a human body. Typically, the coal plants are measuring ash and moisture content of the fuel they burn, and the quantity passing through a coal chute……

Coal Plant Owner Is Fined Over Cesium Radiation Exposure – NYTimes.com

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August 31, 2010 - Posted by | environment, USA | ,

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