Cooling in a drought

A story in today’s USA Today suggests problems in the south with lack of water and cooling of nukes.

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/drought/2008-01-24-drought-power_N.htm

In NJ we have a problem with cooling at the Oyster Creek plant. Two ways to use water – one is to cool directly, taking water from a source, heating it up and returning it (hopefully not hot enough to cook fish). The second is to take water and evaporate it. The second is powerful, but actually consumes the water!!! So as water becomes scarce (and warm), which is the least harmful way to cool a power plant? mrm

From M. Khan:

… a new way to cool nuclear reactors which would supposively save upto 98% of water used by existing nuclear reactors… being built in Southern Maryland – scheduled to be up and running by 2015 (joint venture between Constellation energy and a french company) – a similar hybrid cooling tower was built in West Germany back in 1988

nuclearcooling.jpg

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.reactor25dec25,0,4107050.story

They call it a hybrid-cooling tower… what is it exactly a hybrid of? How does it work differently than a traditional tower? It uses fans… but wouldn’t that increase the evaporation rate, as opposed to conserving it?  -jk

I was able to find a “hybrid type” cooling tower from SPX, apparently they use a heat exchanger to pull heat from the cooling water  into an air-stream, which can help curb evaporation.  -jk

http://spxcooling.com/en/library/detail/balcke-hybrid-cooling-tower/ 

 

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4 Responses

  1. Has CHP ever been considered for a nuclear power plant? If one could find a way to capture the steam boiled off of the river, it could not only be recovered as fresh water, but also used in a low pressure steam turbine.

  2. Here is something interesting… a new way to cool nuclear reactors which would supposively save upto 98% of water used by existing nuclear reactors… being built in Southern Maryland – scheduled to be up and running by 2015 (joint venture between Constellation energy and a french company) – a similar hybrid cooling tower was built in West Germany back in 1988

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.reactor25dec25,0,4107050.story

    -mk

  3. Malik’s article had the following statement that I had not realized:

    “One drawback to the current system is that it kills about 69,000 fish a year that get trapped by the plant’s intake filters, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.”

    So along with cooking fishing, you have also have to be worried about grilling fish (pun intended).

    The water for the nuclear power plant raised a question for me: If water is such a critical parameter to the operation of a nuclear power plant, why would they use a source of water that is subject to variables such as drought. Why not build these by oceans or big lakes? Also (after conferring with Sachin and Josh), salt water would evaporate at higher temperatures. Thus, I am think that using sea water would lead to less evaporative losses. Clotting of heat transfer surfaces would be an issue I guess when the salt water evaporates and leaves the salt residue.

    Also, could the heat from the reactors be used to go from saturated steam to superheated steam? The benefit here would be that the condenser could be skipped altogether and thus the cooling loop could be removed. The turbine would exhaust at saturated steam and then reheated off of the reactors. If getting high pressure steam were an issue because the pump has now been removed, could the exhaust steam be compressed and then heated? The other issue I would think would be that you would not get enough heat off the reactors to sufficiently cool them down or in other words there would not be enough heat transfer off the reactors. But I don’t know to what temperature these reactors need to be brought down too. Perhaps this could be overcome with increasing flow rate. While this may be a more energy intensive process, if feasible, I would think that it would conserve water.

    -pr

  4. numerous ideas and also I’m finding it hard to focus. Will be able to Richardson’t most recent blog page What did you create today? provides given me a special lens through which according to view my plans. dr dre michael jackson headphone

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