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View Diary: Turkey Point Nuclear Plant adds 400MWs! (42 comments)

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  •  It's not the hurricanes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    S F Hippie

    we should be worried about, it's the warming of their cooling water.

    •  Ah...someone is thinking. I like it. (5+ / 0-)

      Not to be condescending Foraker, but that could in theory be an issue most ignore. It is not as big an issue perse as one might think.

      I'm an experienced power plant operator and cooling water temperatures ARE vitally important, but not in the way you might think. It's not an 'on/off' switch that somehow dictates whether one can run a plant, nuclear or otherwise, or not.

      There are two areas where this is important: the turbine itself which like all steam plants needs vacuum for the steam to condense into and, in the case of nukes alone, water for the pools.

      The only effect on the former is that load could be curtailed, meaning that if a plant is rated at, say, 1150MWs (using an AP1000 as an example) that for ever degree over, say, 75 F. the unit would be curtailed say, 3MWs. Sea water itself has not gone though roof in terms of even the warm gulf waters that flow past Turkey Point. It is not an issue and units, such as these new ones being proposed, can be engineered to handle higher temps.

      The cooling ponds for a few of the fuel load changes simply need to have water available, which is actually a simpler process than maintaining vacuum on the low end of the turbine. The water flow isnt' that great and the temperatures of the spent fuel are pretty low. The idea is that all one had to do is keep water in the tanks, which is easy assuming your tanks are not 100 feet in the air and have some sort of pumps, even small flow pumps, available.

      Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

      by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:13:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never understood... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the water problems with nuclear plants.

        If the energy is so cheap, can't the water just be refrigerated using power from the plant? This would change hot water (bad) into hot air (won't be noticed in Florida!)

        If more water is needed, can it be gotten from the air?

        •  Ummm...way too much energy involved. there is the (0+ / 0-)

          issue of energy invested and one's energy return on the investment. You not only need a net surplus of energy but a significant one at that to make any energy source viable and useful.

          Air as such can, and is used, via cooling towers, to cool turbines but there is a larger net loss of water to evaporation when this is used.

          Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

          by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:50:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When has this been a problem? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psilocynic, alain2112

      Other than that time in France when the ambient temperature of the water exceeded the temperature at which the power plant was allowed to discharge it?

      IOW, the water was fine for cooling purposes, it was just too damn hot outside.  You know, due to global warming, which is actually dampened by the use of nuclear power . . ..

    •  not all bad, actually (0+ / 0-)

      The consistently warm water turns out to be pretty decent habitat for endangered species which can be sensitive to cold shock: Link

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