Oct 30, 2007

The Achilles Heel of Nuclear Power

No, I don't mean cost, safety, waste, or proliferation — though those are all serious problems. I mean the Achilles heel of nuclear power in the context of climate change: water.simpsons.jpg

Climate change means water shortages in many places and hotter water everywhere. Both are big problems for nukes.

… nuclear power is the most water-hungry of all energy sources, with a single reactor consuming 35-65 million litres of water each day.

The Australians, stuck in a once-in-a-1000-years drought, understandably worry about this a lot:

Operating a 2,400 Watt fan heater for one hour consumes 0.01 litres of water if wind is the energy source, 0.26 litres if solar is the energy source, 4.5 litres if coal is the energy source, or 5.5 litres if nuclear power is the energy source.

Hotter water is another serious worry: (read more here…)