The recent discovery of coal (black, fossilized plant remains) in a number of places offers an interesting alternative to the production of power from fission. Some of the places where coal has been found show indeed signs of previous exploitation by prehistoric men, who, however, probably used it for jewels and to blacken their faces at religious ceremonies. The power potentials depend on the fact that coal can be readily oxidized, with the production of a high temperature and an energy of about 0.0000001 megawatt days per gram. That is, of course, very little, but large amounts of coal (perhaps millions of tons) appear to be available. The chief advantage is that the critical amount is very much smaller for coal than for any fissile material. Fission plants become, as is well known, uneconomical below 50 megawatts, and a coal driven plant may be competitive for small communities ( such as small islands) with small power requirements.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 1975 by the Iowa Academy of Science
Frisch, O. R.
"On the Feasibility of Coal-Driven Power Stations,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 12
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol12/iss2/5