Aug 16 2007
09:18 pm

I've never heard of this before

The Tennessee Valley Authority shut down one of three units at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant on Thursday because water drawn from a river to cool the reactor was too hot, a spokesman said.

According to the article, the river is at least 90F.

Did anyone notice that it's hot outside?

R. Neal's picture

Part of the problem may be

Part of the problem may be EPA/TDEC regulations on overall river water temperature. Coal plants, nuclear plants, etc. are restricted on how much water used for cooling (that is subsequently heated) can be put back into the river. This is to keep from raising the overall water temp.

Pam Strickland's picture

water drawn from a river to

water drawn from a river to cool the reactor was too hot, a spokesman said

I've heard this before somewhere in my addled brain. But you have to think if water is too hot to cool nuclear reactors that it's too hot for anyone to be outside.

And some folks don't believe Al is telling the truth....

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Mr. McBeavy's picture

"I've heard this before

"I've heard this before somewhere in my addled brain."

You are correct. Several years ago, TVA drew a big slug of cold water out of Norris Dam and sent it downriver to either Sequoyah or Browns Ferry (can't remember which)for the same reason. The cold water was followed downriver with temp. probes as it stayed fairly tight on its way to cool the water at the reactor. I would have to think with the drought we are currently experiencing, pulling down Norris is not the option it once was.

WhitesCreek's picture

Randy has it right. The

Randy has it right. The river water is cool enough to cool the reactor cores but not cool enough to absorb the heated water that the plant pours back into the river without causing more harm than it normally does.

Factchecker's picture

Let's see...

1. Worst drought in 118 years. Check.
2. Record high temps. Check.
3. Extreme flooding in places like Texas and England. Check.
4. Record arctic ice melt with a month of summer to go. Check.
5. Much more extreme weather in multiple places all the time. Check.

Climate change? Gosh, the media is kind of split and Gore has a high utility bill. I'm sure he just wants to win power and IPCC somehow just wants to get rich.

Nah, let's stay "skeptical." For now, of course.

Think I'll go out and sit in the car with the motor and A/C running on full.

R. Neal's picture



See,you guys are the problem. You need to get with the solution. Burn more coal and oil. Use more non-renewable resources. Help the economy!

Andy Axel's picture

I thought Factchecker was a

I thought Factchecker was a New Urbanist...


I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Factchecker's picture

New Whatist?

I don't know what that is. Guess I could "fact-check" it, but eh, whater-yagonnado?

royal caribbean's picture

This sounds ridiculous. What

This sounds ridiculous. What kind of river was that ... a thermal one?

rikki's picture

Royal Caribbean, It was too

Royal Caribbean,

It was too hot AFTER leaving the plant, where it is used to draw heat off the reactor. So, yes, it is a thermal river downstream of the nuke plant.

PS. You didn't charge that cruise to Knox County did you?

Factchecker's picture

Seems like they could just use headphones

Think I'll go out and sit in the car with the motor and A/C running on full.

Some of my coworkers actually do this during lunch hour on hot days. Guess they're also listening to Limberger, but I haven't gone pecking on any windows to find out. Whatchadoin' in there?

Tess's picture

I know that they have

I know that they have trouble keeping the pool at the gym at 82 degrees, which is where most of us swimmers want it. I would think the normal river temp would be much lower this time of year.

But, are they talking about a collecting pool around the reactor and not the river?

I cannot imagine that the river is 90 degrees.

All the fish would die.

lotta's picture

Thermal Compliance

The river temperature varies widely & fish will avoid hot spots. What's significant is the temperature at the intake & discharge points. The river could reach higher temps at the intake depending on water levels, solar heating, etc. If the temp is too high at the intake it will cause super heating & discharge will bust regulatory limits resulting in fines.

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