Atmospheric Release Comparisons


Key airborne pollutants of concern in energy generation are - sulfur dioxide (which contributes to acid rain), nitrogen oxides (which contribute to smog), and carbon dioxide (which contributes to global warming) The following graphs and tables compare release levels for these major pollutants from a 1000 MWe plant of each of the 4 energy generation methods - coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear.

SULFUR DIOXIDE EMISSIONS
from a 1000 Megawatt Power Plant

in Thousand Tons per Year

Coal 70
Natural Gas 0
Oil 30
Nuclear 0
Courtesy USCEA

NITROGEN OXIDE EMISSIONS
from a 1000 Megawatt Power Plant

in Thousand Tons per Year

Coal 25
Natural Gas 16
Oil 14
Nuclear 0
Courtesy USCEA

CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS
from a 1000 Megawatt Power Plant

in Thousand Tons per Year

Coal 6000
Natural Gas 3000
Oil 5000
Nuclear 0
Courtesy USCEA

Copyright 1996-2006.  The Virtual Nuclear Tourist. All rights reserved. Revised: December 20, 2005.