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Thermal and Other Discharge-Related Effects on the Bay Ecosystem

  • George R. Abbe
Part of the Lecture Notes on Coastal and Estuarine Studies book series (COASTAL, volume 23)

Abstract

The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant has several effects on the Bay resulting from its cooling-water discharge. Bay water is heated 6.7°C as it passes through the condensers, but mixing is rapid and the area enclosed by the +2°C isotherm is only 0.34 km2. Fish were attracted to the discharge area by warm water and food, and shellfish grew faster in the discharge area than elsewhere. The discharge area was also a haven for ducks in winter. The high velocity of the discharge (2.7 msec−1) scoured an area of bottom removing sediments and exposing hard clay; soft-sediment biota (infauna) were replaced by epifauna. Copper and nickel, released by corrosion of the copper-nickel alloy condenser tubes, are no longer of concern since those condensers were replaced by ones of stainless steel and titanium. Releases of radionuclides were small and uptake by routinely sampled commercial and noncommercial species was also small. Radionuclides of environmental significance were silver associated with oysters and cobalt associated with sediments. Releases posed no threat to the ecology of the area or to human health.

Keywords

Blue Crab Discharge Area Crassostrea Virginica Thermal Plume Calvert Cliff 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

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  • George R. Abbe

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