Skip to main content

A Blogger's Tour at Crystal River 3

Chris Gent over at the Conway blog shared his thoughts on his tour of the Crystal River 3 nuclear plant in Florida:
The energy complex is the second largest power-producing facility in the nation and the largest east of the Mississippi. The sprawling facility covers 4,700 acres and generates nearly 3,200 megawatts of electricity. One megawatt serves approximately 800 homes so we’re talking about a plant output that serves nearly 2.6 million homes!

The complex is comprised of four coal-fired units and one nuclear. These units came online in 1966 (Unit 1), 1969 (Unit 2), 1977 (Unit 3), 1982 (Unit 4) and 1984 (Unit 5).

Before I begin my overview of the tour, let me tell you that security at the facility is beyond intense. I’ve visited the U.S. Capitol and the White House and the security there is elementary compared to what it takes to enter this complex.

...

Because the U.S. doesn’t permit the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel, nuclear plants are required to store their entire supply of spent fuel onsite. The amazing thing is that all the fuel used in the plant’s 31 years of operation sits at the bottom of this pool and could easy fit inside a semi tractor-trailer. There simply is not much leftover waste with this type of plant.

...

I walked away from today’s tour with a new appreciation for nuclear power. Here are some of my observations:

Nuclear power has a good safety record (no U.S. fatalities in nearly 50 years).
• It decreases our dependency on imported oil.
• It’s economical – roughly 1/3 to 1/6 the cost of fossil fuels
• It does not emit pollution or Carbon Dioxide gas (CO2). With no emissions it reduces the amount of greenhouse gases.
• Unlike what has been portrayed on TV by Homer Simpson, the plant employees are all professional, highly-trained individuals.

Comments

All this ounds quite impressive - I have a similar experience of visiting Forsmark in Sweden. A question - why doesn't the U.S. permit the reprocession of nuclear waste? In case of the development of this branch of energetics, there will be for sure more plants built, and there will be much more waste to store. Again, more and more uranium for fuel will be imported to the U.S. by Russia after the recent uranium import agreement. Maybe time to think about recycling the waste?
David Bradish said…
Actually the U.S. does permit reprocessing. The program is called the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …