FIGURE S-2 Distribution of aggregate damages among the 498 natural-gas-fired power plants analyzed in this study. In computing this chart, plants were sorted from smallest to largest based on damages associated with each plant. The lowest decile (10% increment) represents the 50 plants with the smallest damages per plant (far left). The decile of plants that produced the most damages is on the far right. The figure on the top of each bar is the average damage across all plants of damages associated with sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and particulate matter. Damages related to climate-change effects are not included.
damages associated with the normal operation of nuclear power plants (excluding the possibility of damages in the remote future from the disposal of spent fuel) are quite low compared with those of fossil-fuel-based power plants.7
However, the life cycle of nuclear power does pose some risks. If uranium mining activities contaminate ground or surface water, people could potentially be exposed to radon or other radionuclides through ingestion.