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Reply #12: Nuclear requires more water than coal or gas for the same size plant [View All]

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Nuclear requires more water than coal or gas for the same size plant
And of course wind and PV don't require any water.
From Nuclear Engineering International Magazine:

Cooling of plants: a constraint on growth?
02 July 2008

An important economic and environmental consideration that needs to be taken into account when planning for new nuclear plants is their method of cooling. By Steve Kidd


Nuclear plants currently being built have about 34-36% thermal efficiency, while one of the new reactor designs boasts up to 39%. In comparison, a typical new coal plant runs at 36%, while some new coal-fired plants approach 40%. In determining the cooling requirement, these distinctions are not insignificant. For example, any power plant running at 33% thermal efficiency must discharge about 14% more heat than one at 36% efficiency. Coal plants have a slight edge over nuclear plants and a correspondingly reduced need for cooling water.


Because combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants release much of their heat to the air in the turbine exhaust, they require only about one third as much cooling as normal thermal plants, and this is commonly done through dry cooling. Hence they can achieve thermal efficiencies in the 60-70% range.


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