Chapter 5

Environmental Impact of Power Plants

Beginning from the Stone Age when fire was used for heating, humans have continually been involved in activities that have harmful effects on their health and on the environment. Unfortunately, as we become more industrially advanced, the earth’s atmosphere has become more polluted, water resources further contaminated, and the earth’s crust more acidic.

A good starting point in the history of pollution is the eleventh century when wood was extensively used in Europe as a major heating source. The pollution from burning wood was relatively limited, but wood became scarce and was replaced by coal at the beginning of the twelfth century. The dense smoke created by burning coal was initially viewed ...

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