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Water consumption by nuclear powerplants and some hydrological implications

Circular 745

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Abstract

Published data show that estimated water consumption varies with the cooling system adopted, being least in once-through cooling (about 18 cubic feet per second per 1,000 megawatts electrical) and greatest in closed cooling with mechanical draft towers (about 30 cubic feet per second per 1,000 megawatts electrical). When freshwater is used at this magnitude, water-resources economy may be affected in a given region. The critical need for cooling water at all times by the nuclear powerplant industry, coupled with the knowledge that water withdrawal in the basin will generally increase with time and will be at a maximum during low-flow periods, indicates a need for reexamination of the design low flow currently adopted and the methods used to estimate it. The amount of power generated, the name of the cooling water source, and the cooling method adopted for all nuclear powerplants projected to be in operation by 1985 in the United States are tabulated and the estimated annual evaporation at each powerplant site is shown on a map of the conterminous United States. Another map is presented that shows all nuclear powerplants located on river sites as well as stream reaches in the United States where the 7-day, 10-year low flow is at least 300 cubic feet per second or where this amount of flow can be developed with storage. (Woodard-USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water consumption by nuclear powerplants and some hydrological implications
Series title:
Circular
Series number:
745
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1977
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 14 p. :ill. ;26 cm.