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Water problems may bring early closure of nuclear reactors

The biggest push has been for power plants to install cooling towers to reduce the amount of water used to cool the plants. EPA estimates that over 200 billion gallons of water per day are withdrawn by manufacturing facilities and power plants.

Oyster Creek plant closing, will others follow? Power Gen, 12/09/2010 On Dec. 8, Exelon announced that the Oyster Creek nuclear power generating facility in New Jersey will be shut down by 2019, roughly 10 years before the plant’s operating license expires……When I spoke with plant spokesman David Benson for a story in the October issue of Power Engineering magazine, he also said the retrofit estimate is “more than the plant is worth.”

“If we were forced to put up cooling towers, we would have to close the plant.”

Now, it appears that Benson was correct. Many nuclear power plants in the United States are going through feasibility studies to consider technologies to comply with an expected revision to Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act, which sets out rules related to fish impingement and entrainment. 316(b) requires that the location, design, construction and capacity of cooling water intake reflect the best available technology for minimizing the environmental impact on fish and other aquatic life…….
The biggest push has been for power plants to install cooling towers to reduce the amount of water used to cool the plants. EPA estimates that over 200 billion gallons of water per day are withdrawn by manufacturing facilities and power plants.
…..“If the new rule is prescriptive and states that everyone needs to install cooling towers, that is huge for the industry,” said Greg Allen, director of environmental and engineering services for Alden Research Laboratory. “It is very difficult to retrofit cooling towers at existing plants.”

Oyster Creek plant closing, will others follow?

December 10, 2010 - Posted by | USA, water

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