Implications of Climate Change on the Heat Budget of Lentic Systems Used for Power Station Cooling: Case Study Clinton Lake, Illinois

Juan C. Quijano, P. Ryan Jackson, Santiago Santacruz, Viviana M. Morales, Marcelo H. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We use a numerical model to analyze the impact of climate change - in particular higher air temperatures - on a nuclear power station that recirculates the water from a reservoir for cooling. The model solves the hydrodynamics, the transfer of heat in the reservoir, and the energy balance at the surface. We use the numerical model to (i) quantify the heat budget in the reservoir and determine how this budget is affected by the combined effect of the power station and climate change and (ii) quantify the impact of climate change on both the downstream thermal pollution and the power station capacity. We consider four different scenarios of climate change. Results of simulations show that climate change will reduce the ability to dissipate heat to the atmosphere and therefore the cooling capacity of the reservoir. We observed an increase of 25% in the thermal load downstream of the reservoir, and a reduction in the capacity of the power station of 18% during the summer months for the worst-case climate change scenario tested. These results suggest that climate change is an important threat for both the downstream thermal pollution and the generation of electricity by power stations that use lentic systems for cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-488
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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