04 June 2012
Problems, Problems - But LFTR takes care of them all.
This study was covered by about 20 publications and the study's 'answers' (Adaption strategies) were: "putting new plants near the sea or building more gas fired power plants"
Nuclear, coal power face climate change risk: study
SINGAPORE | Mon Jun 4, 2012 5:54am BST
(Reuters) - Warmer water and reduced river flows will cause more power disruptions for nuclear and coal-fired power plants in the United States and Europe in future, scientists say, and lead to a rethink on how best to cool power stations in a hotter world.
In a study published on Monday, a team of European and U.S. scientists focused on projections of rising temperatures and lower river levels in summer and how these impacts would affect power plants dependent on river water for cooling.
The authors predict that coal and nuclear power generating capacity between 2031 and 2060 will decrease by between 4 and 16 percent in the United States and a 6 to 19 percent decline in Europe due to lack of cooling water.
The likelihood of extreme drops in power generation, either complete or almost-total shutdowns, was projected to almost triple.
"This study suggests that our reliance on thermal cooling is something that we're going to have to revisit," co-author Dennis Lettenmaier, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a statement.
Thermoelectric power plants supply more than 90 percent of electricity in the United States and account for 40 percent of the nation's freshwater usage, says the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
In Europe, such plants supply three-quarters of the electricity and account for about half of the freshwater use.
Coal, nuclear and gas plants turn large amounts of water into steam to spin a turbine. They also rely on water at consistent temperatures to cool the turbines and any spike in river water temperatures can affect a plant's operation.
Disruptions to power supplies were already occurring, the authors noted.
I just had to post this comment and managed it on about a dozen of them:
4 hours ago (12:48 PM)
Let coal decline - we all want it to. But for nuclear, the answer is so simple - generate our electricity and process heat using high temperature reactors which, if the 'waste' heat can't be put to a useful purpose, can be air cooled. However, high temperature 'waste' heat can be used to desalinate, to produce vast quantities of potable water from brackish groundwater and seawater. It can also be used to implement a hydrogen economy, whereby all liquid fuels can be made carbon neutral, by using atmospheric CO2 in their production. Likewise carbon-neutral ammonia can be made from atmospheric N2 and used as feed stock for fertilisers, to maintain agricultural production to feed 9 billion people.
There is one outstanding reactor that can do all of this and also is inherently safe - it shuts down according to the laws of physics, even if all safety systems and all electrics are lost. The fuel in the reactor core starts life in the molten state, so no more TMI or Fukushima-Diiachi style meltdowns. It operates at atmospheric pressure, so there is no high powered 'driver' available to expel radiotoxic substances upwards and outwards into the environment. Also, its fuel is thorium - 3½ X more common than uranium and in sufficient abundance to be economically available until the end of time.
This silver-bullet answer to the most significant problems facing humankind, is the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). Google: LFTRs to Power the Planet for all of the benefits.