Although it may be helpful in reducing global warming, the Finns have now shown that nuclear power can provide an additional benefit by producing local warming. Bloomberg.com reports:
In the shadow of the Olkiluoto nuclear power station in western Finland, Latvian zilga grapes will this year produce about 80 bottles of red wine, said Jukka Huttunen, who cultivates the vineyard next to the facility's two reactors.If the Finns can do this with reactors of Russian design, just think of the possibilities when they start operating their French-designed EPR.
The vines are nourished by the warm water from the plant's cooling system, allowing grapes to thrive in a country that's on the same latitude as Alaska. Teollisuuden Voima Oy, the Finnish utility that owns the plant, started making wine as an experiment into uses for excess heat generated by nuclear energy. The company is now expanding production, said Huttunen.
Sea water used in the cooling process warms up by 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) and is channeled through the 1,000 square-meter (10,764 square-feet) vineyard on its way back to the Gulf of Bothia. That helps kick-start the growing season three months earlier than usual and allows vines to thrive in normally hostile Finnish soil, according to [Olli-Pekka] Luhta [, the environmental manager for Olkiluoto].
Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Environment, Energy, Technology, Botany, Wine, Finland, Framatome