Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fan-driven cooling towers are the latest thing

It looks like Ontario will get two new nuclear plants, one Candu design for OPG at Darlington, and one Areva (or other) light water design on the broken rock of Bruce.

The big question for both plants is whether they will use straight water cooling, or cooling towers. As this article shows, pass-through water cooling kills a lot of fish, and warms up the water. On the other hand, cooling towers probably aren't meant for Canada. Think of how a snow-maker works on a ski hill, and that's a cooling tower!

The new cooling towers don't look like something from the Simpsons. They are low and flat, and cover a football field. They still pump out a huge amount of water vapour, but they use fans instead of air convection. The Darlington site really doesn't have room for them, and the Bruce site has that cold Lake Huron water (what's left of it!).

I really hope there is some action next year on the nuclear front, to pull me out of my doldrums. The Bruce site will be interesting, since they are planning the riddle the rock underneath with a waste repository, while building a new nuclear plant! I can see all sorts of fights!

No comments: