Fresno California Testing Feasibility of Using Municipal Effluent To Cool Nuclear Generators


The Fresno California City Council has, by a 4-2 vote, approved the testing of Fresno wastewater effluent for the purpose of cooling nuclear power plant process water.

"Supporters said the vote wasn't an endorsement for building a nuclear power plant in Fresno. The testing will simply determine whether a plant can be cooled with effluent from the city's waste-water treatment plant in southwest Fresno, they said. The council voted 4-2 to allow the testing, which will give the nuclear plant's backers access to the waste-water treatment plant to conduct tests. The tests are expected to take four years and will cost up to $4 million, said John Hutson, who heads Fresno Nuclear Energy Group LLC, the project's backers."

"Palo Verde, a nuclear generation plant near Phoenix, uses waste water from nearby cities as a cooling agent. As a result, it's the only nuclear power plant in the country that doesn't sit on a large body of water, according to its operator."

Obviously, wastewater that is further heated by a power plant is less suitable for discharge back into natural streams containing fish and wildlife. If the wastewater is consumed by evaporative cooling towers, as it clearly is in the Palo Verde photo, that water will not be recharging groundwater, making it a complete consumptive loss. There are always tradeoffs.

Better hope there aren't too many condominiums in the effluent, should there be a treatment upset down at the turdwrestling system.

Via::FresnoBee Image credit::Palo Verde Reactor complex, Chemistry Land

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