Wear green today in honor of St. Patrick and nuclear energy 1


  1. “They say that the plant should install enormous, ugly, fresh water consuming cooling towers at a cost in excess of a billion dollars plus an extended plant shutdown.”
    Nat draft CTs don’t generally consume fresh water. They’d use the same water source as direct intake for fill and make-up (for plume loss). However they operate as an evaporator, so the water would get “briny” requiring a lot of blow down flow so it would still dump a lot of waste heat via that. So probably not a lot to be gained. Antis just use anything possible to cause financial pain.
    PVNPP is running 3 units on forced draft (fans) CTs using the sewage from Phoenix, again not exactly fresh water.
    Ugly is relative, I find the double fence on the AZ/Mex border in pristine Sonoran Desert in my home town quit ugly, not to mention it is so lit up it never goes dark at night for the folks who live close.

  2. Rod: Thanks for the recognition. Actually the opposition plan regarding proposed Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 316(b) compliance is far worse than you describe. The opposition wants DCPP to be the first nuclear power plant in the U.S. to use SEA WATER in the proposed cooling towers!

    I heard the Friends of the Earth consulting engineer Bill Powers, P.E. falsely allege at a public meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (DCISC) on October 14, 2014 that the Hope Creek Nuclear Power Station (HCNPS) in southern New Jersey uses sea water in its cooling tower. The reality is that HCNPS uses brackish water from the Delaware River, with a salinity about 1/5 that of seawater. Powers also noted Palo Verde uses reclaimed water, which raises the total dissolved solids (TDS) without properly noting that the TDS in Palo Verde cooling tower water is substantially less than the projected TDS of 1.5 times concentrated as sea water that would occur if DCPP were to be forced to use sea water in the proposed cooling towers.

    I have made it very clear in my DCISC and in my 18 November 2014 California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) public testimony that the use of sea water in cooling towers would create an unsafe situation where some 18 million gallons of highly-conductive concentrated sea water UPHILL from DCPP’s critical safety systems such as EDGs, emergency batteries, and switchgear could create a “manmade Fukushima Dai-ichi – without requiring an earthquake!” A mechanical failure or a valve set incorrectly could trigger such an accident scenario. See: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ocean/cwa316/docs/cwa316cmmnts110414/gene_nelson.pdf and http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ocean/cwa316/docs/cwa316cmmnts110414/andrew_benson.pdf

    Note also the substantial salt drift from the millions of pounds of salt drift from the proposed towers would compromise the safety and reliability of DCPP as it caused flashovers of the 500kV insulators and contamination of millions of gallons of emergency deionized water stored in two large pools at the 310 foot elevation.

    I also noted the specific exemptions from 316(b) compliance that were provided for nuclear power plants by the federal EPA in the passage of the CWA legislation in light of their unique environmental benefits. I urged alternative compliance as set forth in the SWRCB’s 19-page “Appendix A” that explicitly mentions DCPP several times. http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ocean/cwa316/docs/otc_2014.pdf

    The SWRCB has not set a date for making public its staff recommendations for DCPP once-through-cooling. I strongly urge interested advocates for nuclear power to promptly submit their support for Appendix A alternative compliance for DCPP to:

    Ms. Shuka Rastegarpour
    Environmental Scientist
    Ocean Standards Unit/ Division of Water Quality
    State Water Resources Control Board
    California Environmental Protection Agency
    (916) 341-5576

    For the record, please also copy your submission to the SWRCB Board Secretary

    Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board
    State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)
    1001 I Street, 24th Floor
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    (916) 341-5600 Voice

    1. Exactly. The extremely high salinity blow down water returned to the ocean would likely create a dead zone for marine life. Then that would become the anti focus. IMO hard core antis don’t even care about the particular technical issue they harass you with. They are just using it because the system allows them to. For about the price of a postage stamp they can make claims and ask questions a utility can spend millions of dollars answering. That’s all they want; to wear you down financially until you give up and pull the plug.
      So why don’t utilities use the same legal process to recover financial losses? If someone harms you financially with a frivolous or false claim you can recover damages in court. As long as antis have no financial skin in the game, they will continue. But they will stop if it starts to hurt them financially.

      1. Excellent points! Organizations such as Friends of the Earth have “deep pockets” as their most recent IRS 990 filing showed annual income around $7 million.

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