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From: (Don Wilkins)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: One upsmanship - Funny Story
Date: Wed, 04 Nov 1998 14:00:34 GMT

On Tue, 03 Nov 1998 19:22:14 -0800, "Martin H. Eastburn"
<> wrote:

>One deep secret most don't know - is that soft coal power plants
>emit more radiation than the bigest (even the famous one that melted)
>nuke plants.

Coal fired power plants have been the largest source of mercury in the

Very small percentage times huge tonnage = significant amount of
mercury up the stack as vapor not particulates.

>Thorium is natural element in soft coal.  Hard coal doesn't have it.

Thorium oxide is not volatile so it ends up in the slag or fly ash
still chemically combined. Half life of 10**10 years and an alpha
emitter so you just about have to sit your butt (without pants or
underwear) right on the slag heap to get a significant dose (and wait
a very long time).

If thorium makes you nervous I probably shouldn't mention that the
tungsten filaments in your incandescent lights have about 2% thorium
oxide content. Commonly referred to as thoriated tungsten wire.

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