Drought Could Force Nuke-Plant Shutdowns

There are 11 comments on the Jan 23, 2008, Newsday story titled Drought Could Force Nuke-Plant Shutdowns. In it, Newsday reports that:

Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

TNT

Brookfield, GA

#1 Jan 23, 2008
When will they all realize that the real problem is that we are overpopulating this planet. We need to drastically throttle back the birth rates globally to fully contain the problem.
Booner

Columbus, GA

#2 Jan 23, 2008
Continued drought may or may not happen. I do think however, the writing on the wall is saying larger/dry cooling towers may be the long term solution.

And just for the record, Newsday got it wrong when it said water from the rivers must pass through a reactor in order to condense steam in the steam cycle. River water never touches the reactor. Having noted that Newsday depends on anti-nuclear agencies for technical information, I doubt that the misinformation was unintentional.
RACE

Hialeah, FL

#3 Jan 23, 2008
Yeah, let's nuke the chinks, there's an easy 3billion right there.
TNT wrote:
When will they all realize that the real problem is that we are overpopulating this planet. We need to drastically throttle back the birth rates globally to fully contain the problem.
Dr Bendover

Waxhaw, NC

#4 Jan 23, 2008
Booner wrote:
Continued drought may or may not happen. I do think however, the writing on the wall is saying larger/dry cooling towers may be the long term solution.
And just for the record, Newsday got it wrong when it said water from the rivers must pass through a reactor in order to condense steam in the steam cycle. River water never touches the reactor. Having noted that Newsday depends on anti-nuclear agencies for technical information, I doubt that the misinformation was unintentional.
Mr Booner,briefly,why then is water needed to cool a reactor if it never touches it? Thanks

“Read between the lines”

Since: Mar 07

Lindenhurst, NY

#5 Jan 23, 2008
Dr Bendover wrote:
<quoted text>
Mr Booner,briefly,why then is water needed to cool a reactor if it never touches it? Thanks
because steam is sent through a condenser which takes the steam after it has passed through a turbine and condenses it back into water. the steam is cooled in the condenser with cool water that passes through tubes within the condenser walls and the cooling water does not touch the steam that it is cooling barring a leak in the piping. after the river/lake water absorbes the heat from the steam in the condenser, it then leaves the condenser and goes back to its source.
Booner

Columbus, GA

#6 Jan 23, 2008
Dr Bendover wrote:
<quoted text>
Mr Booner,briefly,why then is water needed to cool a reactor if it never touches it? Thanks
It's pretty much like tmptjohn says. I should point out though that in a pressurized water reactor (PWR) the steam being condensed is actually in a secondary closed cooling loop which does not touch the reactor. The water passing through the reactor is a closed system called the primary cooling system. The river water is a tertiary (third) loop.

The other kind of reactor in wide use (about 1/3 of the total) is a boiling water reactor (BWR) in which the water passing through the reactor core is the same water being converted to steam which passes through the turbines and then is condensed in the main condenser before returning to the reactor (closed loop). From the condenser it is like a PWR in which outside water from a river, lake or ocean cools the steam in an open loop manner by passing through tubes without mixing with or touching the reactor cooling water.

tmptjhn used the phrase “barring leaks” in describing the isolation of outside (river, etc.) loop. Here it should be noted that if a leak occurs in the tubes or tube walls of the condenser, the leaking water will pass from the river side to the inside of the condenser because the condenser operates in a vacuum, i.e., the pressure on the inside of the condenser is lower than atmospheric pressure. Therefore a condenser leak is not a radiological concern.
Lara

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#7 Jan 24, 2008
Booner wrote:
Continued drought may or may not happen. I do think however, the writing on the wall is saying larger/dry cooling towers may be the long term solution.
And just for the record, Newsday got it wrong when it said water from the rivers must pass through a reactor in order to condense steam in the steam cycle. River water never touches the reactor. Having noted that Newsday depends on anti-nuclear agencies for technical information, I doubt that the misinformation was unintentional.
I had to put my two-cents in...
This was taken from the article...

"Water sucked from lakes and rivers passes through pipes, which act as a condenser, turning the steam back into water. The outside water never comes into direct contact with the steam or any nuclear material".

Please read the last sentence.
Maybe you should READ the article before commenting. Thanks.
Booner

Auburn, AL

#8 Jan 24, 2008
Lara wrote:
<quoted text>
I had to put my two-cents in...
This was taken from the article...
"Water sucked from lakes and rivers passes through pipes, which act as a condenser, turning the steam back into water. The outside water never comes into direct contact with the steam or any nuclear material".
Please read the last sentence.
Maybe you should READ the article before commenting. Thanks.
I did read the entire article, including this sentence preceding your quoted part...."the drought could choke off the billions of gallons of water that pass through the region's reactors every day to cool used steam."
This sentence taken out of context (who would ever do that?) literally says the water passes thru the REACTORS to cool the used steam. I was just making double sure the message would not get misquoted.
Franklin P

Brooklyn, CT

#9 Jan 24, 2008
TNT wrote:
When will they all realize that the real problem is that we are overpopulating this planet. We need to drastically throttle back the birth rates globally to fully contain the problem.
What? A voice of reason? God will get you for this!
Malthus

Hartford, CT

#10 Jan 24, 2008
TNT wrote:
When will they all realize that the real problem is that we are overpopulating this planet. We need to drastically throttle back the birth rates globally to fully contain the problem.
Why wait for lower birth rates. If it's that bad then just kill yourself now and do the world a favor.
TNT

Brookfield, GA

#11 Jan 25, 2008
Malthus wrote:
<quoted text>
Why wait for lower birth rates. If it's that bad then just kill yourself now and do the world a favor.
It will only get worse because of myopics such as yourself. Don't hurt yourself in the scramble for the dictionary.

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