Nuclear power and droughts

What has this got to do with sustainable mobility? A lot if you are thinking nuclear power may be a good option in Australia to supply energy to all those electric or hydrogen powered cars you want to see on our roads. After listening to Dr Ziggy Switkowski espouse the benefits of nuclear power I must admit I was beginning to entertain the idea. The only real stumbling block appeared to be the fact that it would take ten to fifteen years to build the expertise required to develop a nuclear power industry in Australia.

A second much higher stumbling block has been raised. A regular reader has found an interesting article that suggests a number of nuclear power plants in the Southern United States may be forced to shut down due to drought conditions currently being experienced. The water sources used for cooling the reactors are drying up and nuclear reactors need water to for cooling. No water equals no power. Not exactly ideal for Australian conditions and not something you hear when people talk about nuclear power.

The other interesting information in the comments on this article is that the nuclear power industry in 1995 the United States thermoelectric power industry consumed 3.8 billion gallons of water per day in comparison to the residential sector consuming 6.68 billion gallons. Half the residential consumption! On that basis alone I would say our dry continent won’t support nuclear power.

Source: The Cost of Energy (thanks for the tip Ben)

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One Response

  1. 99% of people in Aus live within 50 klm of the coast and thus sea water is readily available for cooling. When this becomes a problem you won’t need to worry because mother earth will have disposed of you and I by that time (as it is natural for it to do so) Shipping the power to inland Aus is no problem, High Voltage lines just like the High Voltage DC link Tasmania to/from (as required) Victoria.

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