Penn State Study: NatGas Power Plants Pose No Radon Risk

A bright and enterprising graduate student at Penn State University cooked up an interesting research project for her graduate thesis. With all this talk about “fracked gas” having boatloads of radon in it, would using such radon-laden gas as the source fuel for a gas-fired electric plant pose a risk to those who live near it? In particular, could the gas-fired plants on Penn State’s own campus be posing a danger to students, faculty and staff that live and work on campus? Alison Stidworthy, a former graduate student in the Department of Meteorology at Penn State (and now employed as a site manager for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection), led the research effort, which was the topic of her master’s degree thesis (copy below). What did Alison find? High levels of radon do not leak from the plants and pose no health issues to those living and working nearby. Which makes perfect sense. How do you get rid of radon in your basement when it’s present? You vent it to the outside, where it quickly dissipates and becomes inert. Alison, along with several of her professors, recently published her work as a study in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association...

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