The Atomic Show #058 – Uranium on NYMEX, Water use by reactors
Shane and Rod discuss uranium futures markets new to the New York Mercantile Exchange, water consumption by thermal power plants, scaling reactors to fit various markets and locations
Shane found some good follow on information relating to our uranium availability story a few weeks ago and listener John asked some questions that provided some good fodder for discussion about thermal plant water use, power plant scaling and design considerations. Hope you enjoy and keep that feedback coming.
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A few thoughts on water use…
Large steam cycle power plants don’t necessarily need to consume huge amounts of water. Once-through cooling from the ocean or a reservoir doesn’t have the large evaporation as with cooling towers. The water is merely returned to its place of origin, albeit slightly warmer. There are also closed loop cooling towers which minimize water loss.
The largest nuclear power plant in the United States (Palo Verde) is located in the middle of the Arizona desert. The water that Palo Verde uses is actually treated sewage water from the Phoenix metropolitan area. The water is further purified for use in the turbine steam cycle and reactor systems. This is a rather efficient use of water resources.
Lastly, if clean water is such an issue in Florida, why not construct a few nuclear desalination plants along the coast? Desalinating seawater is easy. All you need is energy. Large Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants, using conventional energy sources, can supply fresh water at a cost of around 50 cents per cubic meter, as reported in the UIC link below.
From what I have heard, the many nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines in the Navy make their own potable water.
Nuclear power is the answer, not the problem.
All very good points. With the right location, once through cooling works very well. Of course coastal land is not always optimal for power plant construction; you can probably think of a number of them including cost and weather vulnerabilities.
Recycling grey water makes good sense as well, though there are some engineering and operational issues that add some cost.
As you know if you are a frequent listener of the Atomic Show, I completely agree with your last statement. However, even nuclear plants can be inappropriate if not well designed, built and operated. Part of that design effort is to ensure that the plant “fits” the place where it is needed, that it takes into account local conditions, local desires. and long term impact.
Hope you keep enjoying the show and providing feedback. It is always welcome.
good to hear the line levels are right 🙂 keep up the good work.
Glad you enjoy the show and thanks for the QA check. I thought we were much better matched this show, but I am pleased that you agree.
I heard your broadcast and enjoyed your comments and insites. The only comment I would like to make is to refer properly to your topic. You refer to your machine as a atomic device when in fact it is a nuclear device. I do which you would use the proper terms. As you well know there never was an atomic bomb only a nuclear bomb ( the use of atomic to describe the bomb was a mis-nomer and should never have been used, but times were different when the first bomb was dropped and the name “Atomic Bomb” stuck). Atomic power employs inner valance electrons (outer valance electron refer to chemical reactions). Of course nuclear reactions employ reactions on the nucleus of the atom. It is important that the non-science educated public be properly informed. I do feel there will be a time when atomic energy (inner valance electrons) will be used to power transportation units (cars, etc.).
I am glad that you have enjoyed the show. However there is little to be gained from strict adherence to the definition that you propose. Heck, if we took your advice we would have to rename all of our shows. That would not do our brand any good at all.
No, even thought there might have been a bit of a misnomer in the beginning, it has been used for long enough and often enough that it is now in the dictionary and in common use. We will stick with Atomic and generally avoid “nuclear” as a term that was captured by people that did not like fission very much.
Love the show guys.
While reading my daily news I came across a story about fungi converting radition to energy after growth was found inside of the Chernobyl reactor. Thought you might enjoy the article.
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