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The Knock-on Effects of Global Warming: Too Darn Hot for Nuclear Power
Climate change deniers abound but the evidence is all around us. Weather extremes are getting wider and more frequent, the temperature is inching upward, and the world is starting to look at water differently. In a look at how long we can pretend something isn't happening when the evidence is right before our eyes Peter Sinclair examines nuclear power and it's use and abuse of water in a warming world. The impacts of which may well shut reactors down where common sense has failed.
"The problem of Nuclear plant performance in climate driven heat waves is well known. During the European Heat Wave of 2003, and several times since, many of France’s vaunted nuclear plants had to be shut for fear of boiling the rivers where they drew their cooling water. In 2007, the Brown’s Ferry Nuclear plant, part of the TVA system, was forced to shut down down due to cooling water issues..."
"Water for cooling thermoelectric power generation, coal, gas and nuclear, represents 49 percent of US surface water withdrawals. The numbers are similar world wide..."
In a seperate article included within Sinclair's cautionary tale of water risk, a study funded by the European Commission done by a research center at Wageningen University in the Netherlands found it likely that:
"thermoelectric power generating capacity from 2031-60 will decrease 6-19 percent in Europe because of a lack of cooling water..." and that "the likelihood of extreme reductions in thermoelectric power generation will, on average, jump by a factor of three during the period."
We have alternatives to water intensive, toxic energy souces. We have no alternative to water.