Thirsty Nukes Can't Take the Heat

As John noted earlier, President Bush has suggested that ""Nuclear power helps us protect the environment" and wants to build new plants. However, there is a problem that John posted about last year and that raised its head again: water, and the huge amounts needed to keep reactors operating at safe temperatures. David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the International Herald Tribune:

"We're going to have to solve the climate-change problem if we're going to have nuclear power, not the other way around. As the climate warms up, nuclear power plants are less able to deliver."

In the French 2003 killer heat wave, 17 reactors had to be cut back or turned off because of the rapid rise in river temperatures. In Germany and Spain, reactors were dialled back as temperatures rose. In the US, the group Public Citizen reported a shutdown last year at a plant in Michigan, and slowdowns at plants in Minnesota, Illinois and Pennsylvania, because of hot conditions.

So build them on the coasts and cool them with seawater or don't expect much out of them when you need them most- when it is hot outside. ::International Herald Tribune