Work Step by Step
Thermal pollution: both types of plants heat water to generate steam to spin turbines, so they both produce waste heat. It's mostly a draw. Chemical pollution: conventional fossil-fuel power plants emit greenhouse gases and poisonous contaminants, leading to global warming and acid rain. Nuclear power plants, under normal operation, do not pollute the air. Radioactive pollution: a coal-fired power plant emits more radioactivity than a fission power plant because of the minute quantities of radioactive material in coal. Nuclear plants produce concentrated radioactive waste that must be disposed of safely.