Circulating Water Systems
Nuclear power plants are usually built next to lakes, rivers, and oceans. Not for the scenic views that such locales provide, but because water can absorb the waste heat produced by the plants. Nuclear power plants consume vast amounts of water during normal operation to absorb the waste heat leftover after making electricity and to cool the equipment and buildings used in generating that electricity. In event of an accident, nuclear power plants need water to remove the decay heat produced by the reactor core and to cool the equipment and buildings used to provide the core’s heat removal. This chapter describes the reliance of nuclear power plants on nearby bodies of water during normal operation and under accident conditions.
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