Nuclear Power Plant Cooling System Selection

by Stephen C. Ko, (A.M.ASCE), Head Siting Engr.; Kaiser Engrs., Oakland, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 55-67

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method of cost-effectiveness was used to identify the best cooling system for a 4,400-MW nuclear power plant. Three alternative cooling systems were analyzed: (1) Recirculating cooling pond, (2) recirculating spray channel, and (3) a combination of spray channel and cooling pond. Each of the three alternative cooling systems were evaluated and analyzed against a set of criteria to satisfy the goal of minimal environmental impact, least economic expenditure, and maximized cooling efficiency. Pitfalls of making a biased endorsement of a system were examined using a sensitivity analysis. The cost-effectiveness approach utilized in this study does not rely on weighting and ranking which are common practices of other approaches in evaluation of alternative systems. The pitfalls and fallacies of weighting and ranking are presented.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Sensitivity analysis | Nuclear power | Cooling (wastewater treatment) | Temperature effects | System analysis | Water circulation | Ponds

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