Coastal Power Plant Heat Disposal Considerations

by Dean M. Golden, (A.M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Southern California Edison, Co., Rosemead, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 3, Pg. 365-380

Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: A review of the cooling system alternatives for power plants in coastal areas indicates that once-through cooling of seawater is the most favorable from an overall environmental standpoint. Preliminary evaluation of the year-long Thermal Effect Studies conducted at all California coastal power plants indicates that existing thermal discharges are exerting only localized environmental impacts. With proper oceanographic and biological surveys to determine the aquatic inhabitants and hydraulic characteristics of a potential site, a criteria can be developed to discharge the thermal effluent safely into the ecosystem. However conceptually attractive geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, tidal, and fusion power may be, it would appear that none of them has the capability of providing sufficient amounts of power to meet the projected demands for electrical energy during the next two decades.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Thermal pollution | Coastal environment | Thermal power | Solar power | Electric power | Hydro power | Thermal properties | Cooling (wastewater treatment) | North America | California | United States

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