The coal plants in Utah release about 400 times more radioactive material during routine operation than comparable-size nuclear plants. Much of this goes directly into the atmosphere. This happens because all coal contains trace amounts of uranium and thorium. When you are burning a train-load of coal a day, these trace amounts add up.Virtually all of the radioactivity produced in nuclear plants remains in the used fuel rods, where it is isolated from the biosphere. If all of the electricity a person used in a lifetime were generated with nuclear power, their total share of the waste would fit into one Coke can.