I'm not even going to try to calculate the size of the ash pond, but here's what we have for the mountain of coalâ¦
I used the Embalse nuclear plant as a baseline, because it was the first thing I found on Wikipedia.
A coal-fired power plant producing the same 2109 MWt output would burn 2,463,620,940 kilograms of coal per year, for a fuel stockpile on site of 24,636,209,400 kilograms. If you prefer tons, Wolfram says that's 27,160,000. - 27 megatons and change. Since uranium in the core is the form it is used in, we shall assume this is powdered coal magically prevented from blowing away, perhaps with a water mist, or plastic sheeting.
The specific energy of coal is 24 MJ/kg; of TNT, a mere 4.6 - a 5.2-fold difference.
Allowing for this, the coal pile contains 141 megatons worth of energy.
While it might be infeasible to efficiently detonate this mountain of coal, odds are once a fire starts, it would be impossible to put out, forming a firestorm effect which may aerosolize enough powdered coal to cause a thermobaric explosion.
Even failing that, the result would approximate a particularly bad coal seam fire, and the surface area involved in combustion, as well as the open-air nature of the fire, would expose the local population to a manmade âoeevil windâ - substantial portions of the coal's mass would be released in the form of CO2 and other combustion gases, asphyxiating anyone unfortunate to be downwind of it. Assuming only 10 million tons of the coal is released in the form of CO2, the result is 3.932 cubic kilometers of heavier-than-air gas rushing downhill from the fire. This will not be released all at once, but instead will sustain the event, perhaps long enough to kill even the vegetation that isn't incinerated by the firestorm or simple radiant heat from an unexpectedly well-behaved fire that doesn't spark secondary blazes - which is a rather likely eventuality.
Granted that storing ten years of coal on-site at a powerplant is vanishingly unlikely, but when apples-to-apples comparisons are made the law of large numbers suggests that any calamity at a fuel dump of this magnitude - of any kind - is likely to be severe, if not a mass-casualty event.
My math, for verification:
27 kJ / gram for bituminous coal
80620 kJ / gram for uranium
2109 MWt for the Embalse nuclear power plant
2986 times denser power
3.154Ã--107 seconds per year
2109/.027 = 78,111 grams per second
2,463,620,940 kilograms of coal per year
P.S.: You're an ass.