Those of you making the absurd claims that coal ash is somehow worse on the whole than nuclear, tell me this:
When was the last time 200,000 people within a 12 mile radius has had to be evacuated due to a problem at a coal plant?
McBride and his co-authors estimated that individuals living near coal-fired installations are exposed to a maximum of 1.9 millirems of fly ash radiation yearly. To put these numbers in perspective, the average person encounters 360 millirems of annual "background radiation" from natural and man-made sources, including substances in Earth's crust, cosmic rays, residue from nuclear tests and smoke detectors.
We're not concerned with minimal levels of radiation that occur during typical operation.
We're talking about the problems that occur when something Bad happens.
Coal plant? Not really much of a problem.
Nuclear plant? Run, before you grow another arm (exaggeration, obviously).
Cleaner (aside from the spent fuel, newer reactors deal with this better)? Yes.
Safer? Hell no.