Saturday, January 26, 2008

SE drought can curtail nuclear power plants

Media stories this past week report that some nuclear power plants, mainly in the Southeast, could be forced to shut down because of extreme drought. Up to 24 plants may be affected. Shutdown of power plants may not cause blackouts but could increase water bills.

Recent rains and even snows in Alabama and Georgia have not significantly increased lake levels. The heavy storms of warm months are needed to maintain water levels, and in 2007 they all stayed over Texas and Oklahoma, with record flooding. And even there, Texas has record drought and brush fires before the winter of 2007.

Extremely heavy snows in the Sierra Nevada probably are somewhat reassuring to the short term water needs of southern California.

The AP story is by Mitch Weiss, here.

I visited the nuclear power plant near Glen Rose, Texas in 1982, ironically on a Sierra Club weekend at a nearby wild animal reserve, while it was under construction.

And in the late 1970s, while living in New York City, I became acquainted, through my "Understanding" unit then -- founded originally in Arizona by Dan Fry), with a grass roots effort to ban nuclear power. I would not support such an effort today.

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