Impact of a 1,000-foot thermal mixing zone on the steam electric power industry [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 1994.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Physical Description:
- 33 pages : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- Argonne National Laboratory
United States. Department of Energy
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Thermal discharge requirements for power plants using once-through cooling systems are based on state water quality standards for temperatures that must be met outside of designated mixing zones. This study evaluates the impact of limiting the extent of thermal mixing zones. This study evaluates the impact of limiting the extent of thermal mixing zones to no more than 1,000 feet from the discharge point. Data were collected from 79 steam electric plants. Of the plants currently using once-through cooling systems, 74% could not meet current thermal standards at the edge of a 1,000-foot mixing zone. Of this total, 68% would retrofit cooling towers, and 6% would retrofit diffusers. The estimated nationwide capital cost for retrofitting plants that could not meet current thermal standards at the edge of a 1,000-foot mixing zone is $21.4 billion. Conversion of a plant from once-through cooling to cooling towers or addition of diffusers would result in a lower energy output from that plant. For the affected plants, the total estimated replacement cost would be $370 to $590 million per year. Some power companies would have to construct new generating capacity to meet the increased energy demand. The estimated nationwide cost of this additional capacity would be $1.2 to $4.8 billion. In addition to the direct costs associated with compliance with a 1,000-foot mixing zone limit, other secondary environmental impacts would also occur. Generation of the additional power needed would increase carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 8.3 million tons per year. In addition, conversion from once-through cooling systems to cooling towers at affected plants would result in increased evaporation of about 2.7 million gallons of water per minute nationwide.
- Published through SciTech Connect.
- Type of Report and Period Covered Note:
- Topical; 04/01/1994 - 04/01/1994
- Funding Information:
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