Would Nuclear Power be a good idea if Drought Conditions Caused by Climate Change Dry up the Water?Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Would Nuclear Power be a good idea if Drought Conditions Caused by Climate Change Dry up the Water?
 


25 January 2008 at 2:48:00 PM
salon

via Slog

drought conditions produced by climate change could force nuclear power plants to scale back or shut down later this year, "because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate." Of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors, 24 are located in areas experiencing the most severe levels of drought, and all but two are located on lakes or rivers, relying on submerged pipes to draw billions of gallons of water for cooling and condensing steam. If the plants do shut down, replacement power will cost ten times as much as nuclear. Nuclear plants are not designed for the wear and tear of repeatedly stopping and starting. Whatever you think of nuclear power, it'll be pretty hard to argue that it's a panacea for climate change if, you know, it doesn't work.


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1 - rca   25 Jan 2008 @ 7:48:15 PM 

Recent news reports clearly indicate that drought conditions could force the shutdown of some Nuclear power plants. What is not clearly reported is that over half of the electricity produced in the United States comes from coal fired power plants. So what? Well first of all, Coal fired power plants require lots of water also (similar to that of nuclear power plants) and for example, states that are severely affected by drought conditions such as North Carolina have approximately twice as many coal fired power plants than nuclear power plants (60% vs 32%) which will also have to be shutdown if there is not enough water in the reservoirs adjacent to these power plants. Natural gas power plants on the other hand (the newer technology NG power plants) produce electricity without any requirements for large volumes of water and do so in a manner similar to that of a jet engine on an airplane. Natural gas is currently relatively plentiful in the 48 states and even much more so in Alaska but using natural gas for electricity is not being aggressively pursued to the extent that is possible primarily due to environmental concerns and specifically environmental concerns in Alaska. (Although coal and nuclear power is clearly understood to have environmental concerns exceedingly greater than that of Natural Gas).
Did you know that a properly functioning coal plant introduces 100 times more radiation into the atmosphere than a properly operating nuclear power plant? http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html
Not to mention that a typical 500-megawatt coal fired power plant ( I suspect similar numbers for nuclear as well) intakes about 2.2 billion gallons of water in a year? (intakes is not to be confused with “uses” as most of this is returned to the reservoir from which is was taken) and in doing so it is estimated that 21 million fish eggs, larvae, and juvenile fish are drawn in as well, not to mention that there are filters in place to prevent adult fish from being drawn into the power plant which the EPA estimates that only about 1.5 million adult fish become trapped against the intake structures for this one typical power plant. http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html


Have you heard of the renewed interest to go to the Moon? How does that relate to this topic you may ask? The answer is that there is new science that indicates that the moon could provide the means to exceed the world’s power needs forever in the rocks and these rocks would be a key component to the most abundant and cleanest source of energy that the world has ever known. In the meantime it is estimated that there are over a trillion barrels of oil still readily available. At 100$ a barrel well… I guess I am getting off topic now.
RCA



2 - salon   26 Jan 2008 @ 10:25:43 PM 

One of the main issues with nuclear power that makes it unsafe, to me, is what to do with the nuclear waste.

On your moon comment, I'm still waiting for Bush to get in his spaceship and go to the Moon (or Mars) as he talked about in his SOTU speech a few years back.


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3 - rca   27 Jan 2008 @ 3:37:08 PM 

You are certainly correct, as scientist already know that there is no safe place on this earth to store nuclear waste that will remain safe storage for even close to the time it takes for the nuclear waste to no longer be radioactive, which is why I have concerns with any candidate that states, “I actually think that we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix.” and for any candidates that accepts campaign contributions from companies such as Exelon Corp., a nuclear plant operator that supports the Yucca waste site and then flip flops and says "I am not a nuclear energy proponent." So which is it, should we explore (expand) nuclear power or not? If we choose not to pursue nuclear power it should be for the obvious reasons and not because of a drought.
Regarding the moon again, I haven’t read or listened to the SOTU speech (and not that I am pro-Bush) but I highly suspect that Bush did not state that he wanted to get in his spaceship and go to the moon, perhaps he should have said something along the lines that we go to the moon because “We choose to go to the moon”.
RCA



4 - salon   27 Jan 2008 @ 6:06:17 PM 

You are so right. It was ME who said "I think Bush should go to the moon".


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