"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Monday, March 15, 2010

NY water plan could cost power generators billions

Nuclear Power plants that discharge cooling water in an open cooling cycle warm the discharge water slightly - about 1.5 degrees C. The NY Government is proposing legislating changing to a closed water cooling system at a cost of 1.5 to 2 billion dollars for the Indian Point station alone.

One of the first plants to face the proposed regulations would be Entergy Corp's 1,910-MW Indian Point, located about 45 miles north of New York City where it draws water from the Hudson River. Entergy has already asked the DEC for a new water permit and requested that the federal government renew the license for both of its reactors.

The DEC, which is accepting comment on its proposal through May 9, said it would require closed-cycle systems -- like cooling towers -- unless "an operator can demonstrate that closed-cycle cooling technology cannot physically be implemented at a particular location."
In February, Entergy filed a report with the DEC that found it would be better to add new underwater screens to the plant's existing cooling water intake system rather than install expensive cooling towers.
The state however wants plants to use closed-cycle systems, which recirculate the water instead of discharging it after one use. The DEC said closed-cycle systems reduce the impact on aquatic life by more than 90 percent.
Like the other plants, Indian Point uses river water to condense the steam used to turn the turbines and generate electricity before returning the slightly heated water back to the river. The water used to make the steam remains in the plant.
Entergy said cooling towers, which can stand more than 600 feet tall and measure 300 feet in diameter, could not enter service before 2029 at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion to $2 billion.
Entergy has proposed a $100 million underwater screen to protect fish eggs and larvae at the intake which would make sense.
The underwater screen meanwhile would take just three years to install and cost about $100 million.

Hence Entergy said the screens would better protect fish eggs and larvae over the 20-year period of a renewed Indian Point license, in large part, because they can be installed 12 to 15 years sooner than cooling towers. Entergy has said it hopes to get a draft water permit from the DEC in April that included approval for the screens.
There are six more similar stations in New York and the total bill could amount to ten billion dollars for this proposed greenie lunacy. Of course the public will pay through increased electricity costs which are already causing winter fatalities among the poorest in the community.
If a levy of ten billion dollars has to be imposed surely the community would have better use for the money.

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