In a Letter to the Editor in today's Hamilton Spectator, Dr. Michael Ivanco, Society of Professional Engineers and Associates of Mississauga, Ontario puts the current impact of high temperatures in Europe on nuclear generating stations in the proper perspective:
The impact of drought in Europe on electricity supply is not a "nuclear" problem, as the writer suggests, rather it affects all electricity generating stations that use a steam cycle: nuclear, coal, gas and oil.When you look at the blogosphere today the biggest intellectual fraud on this issue would have to be "environmentalist" Joel Makower. Not only has he been peddling scientific nonsense at his own blog, but also at the Huffington Post. We should also remember that Makower, when challenged, didn't simply update his blog, but altered it to make it appear as if he's considered our arguments beforehand.
These account for over 80 per cent of all electricity generated on our planet. While water shortages have caused some thermo-electric plants to scale back production, it is important to note that they have not been required to shut down.
During the heat wave that hit Europe in the summer of 2003, by contrast, the contribution of wind-generated electricity to the electrical grids was virtually zero, since the wind did not blow.
While the overall output of nuclear plants may vary slightly due to other weather conditions, it will not drop to zero as some renewable sources do.
The single largest nuclear facility in North America is in the middle of the desert in Arizona and it does not suffer from any drought-related setbacks, simply because water conservation was built into its design.
There is no technical reason preventing future plants from being built to minimize water usage.
For a real world application of everything we're talking about, take a look at the proposal for the third and fourth reactors at North Anna Nuclear Station.
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