So What Happens to Nuclear Reactors in Times of Extreme Heat and Drought (August 15 2012)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

So What Happens to Nuclear Reactors in Times of Extreme Heat and Drought (August 15 2012)
 


15 August 2012 at 3:55:27 PM
salon

On Sunday, Millstone nuclear power plant in Waterford, CT had to shut down one of its reactors. Why? Because the seawater was too warm to cool it.

It was the first time in the plant's 37-year history that the water pulled from the Long Island Sound was too warm to use.

In late July, power generation from the nation's nuclear plants fell to 93 percent of capacity, the lowest level since 2003. Not all of the drop was due to weather-related issues, but some of it was:

— The Vermont Yankee plant near Brattleboro had to limit output four times in July because of low river flow and heat. At one point, production was reduced to 83 percent of capacity.

— FristEnergy Corp's Perry 1 reactor in Ohio dropped production in late July to 95 percent of capacity because of above-average temperatures.

— Operators of the Braidwood, Ill., nuclear plant 60 miles southwest of Chicago sought and were granted a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to raise the temperature of a cooling pond to 102 degrees—2 degrees above the established limit. The pond holds water cycled through the plant for cooling and then discharged. If the plant had not received the waiver, it would have had to scale back production in the middle of an intense heat wave.

Besides the temperature of the water, guess what, there's LESS OF IT>

When all of the nation’s 104 nuclear plants are fully operational, they supply about 20 percent of the energy generated in the United States. Those plants need water to operate, and in most cases, they need fresh water. There's not a lot of fresh water to go around in much of the nation this summer, and that is putting nuclear energy to the test.

It's also raising questions about how freshwater supplies should be managed in a world further taxed by climate change. Inevitably, there will be increased competition for water from a growing population, agriculture and the energy sector.


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Comments!  
1 - humanbeing   15 Aug 2012 @ 6:05:26 PM 

It's about time people begin to consider this very real problem of diminishing surface and groundwater.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/opinion/sunday/extreme-weather-and-drought-are-here-to-stay.html?_r=1


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