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Record Heat, Drought Pose Problems for U.S. Electric Power

National Geographic -- Record heat and drought conditions across the United States this summer have plagued power plants that require cool water to produce electricity.

From Connecticut to California, high water temperatures and diminished access have forced power plants to ramp down production or acquire waivers to operate with cooling water above regulated temperatures. At least one plant has suspended operations.

On Sunday, one of two reactors at Millstone Power Station near New London, Connecticut, was shut down when temperatures in Long Island Sound, reached their highest sustained levels since the facility began monitoring in 1971.

The outage had no immediate impact on power delivery, as New England was expected to have a buffer of 26 percent more electricity supply than peak demand this summer,..


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Submitted Aug 20, 2012 By: Martinman
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Record Heat, Drought Pose Problems for U.S. Electric Power Back to Topics
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clpassenubye
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 7:18:17 PM

yes
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NHLiveFree
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 6:34:24 PM


It is astonishing that even the sea water utilized by the two CT nuclear reactors is so warm that they had to shut down! This is getting serious!!!
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crep1291
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 11:35:56 AM

"Convert everything to natural gas!"

Natural gas power plants also need water to operate. And water is needed to extract the cheap natural gas.
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puinsai808
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 11:11:45 AM

yikes
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Martinman
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 10:31:37 AM

Fall 'officially' starts on Sep. 22nd.
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FPLREP
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 9:49:25 AM

Cooler weather is coming. I predict an early fall.
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Martinman
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 9:24:15 AM

commprof from houston posted...

"Put the coal fired plants back on line and build more of them in order to use the energy source we have and make electricity cheaper. Duh! "

.

mowerman08 from milwaukee posted...

"What about the coal plants? That's right coal isn't part of Obama's plan. "

.

renegadegas from missouri posted...

"Keep shutting down the coal plants and plan on seeing more of this and higher prices. Way to go greenie weenies!! Your distruction of America and her people is working! "

.

z06ky from louisville posted...

"Need more new coal plants! Obama has almost destroyed our coal industry!"

-----

Don't you just love it when people comment without reading the article?

How about commenting without reading more than just the headline?

First paragraph above, "... have plagued power plants that require cool water to produce electricity..."

Could it be, that the first sentence of the article DEFINES what the artice is about?

Hmmm, no "nuclear" word there. You would think that inquiring minds that don't know, but want to know, would then read on...

The article then later states:

"... Keech said drought is potentially a bigger problem for the electrical power industry than high heat, because nuclear AND COAL POWER PLANTS rely on water to cool key parts of their systems. "If you don't have a way to refill the cooling pond, then you have to sit there and wait for rain. In summers like this one, you don't know how long it's going to be. Waiting for Mother Nature to fill the reservoir back up, that's not a position you want to be in...."

-----

It talks about some of the power plants either closed or faced closure due to not only water temperatures, but water levels. It even talks about the mean nasty evil empire (you know, the federal government) granted waivers to exceed established federal standards, when it was needed!

Amazing... 'regulating' worked!

But wait, there's more!

"... But heat and drought work together to overtax the electrical grid, said Michael Webber, associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Water is far more important for energy production than most people understand, Webber said, adding that families use more water to power their homes than they use from their tap...."

Ya don't say...

And there are additional examples of plants being forced to shutdown, as well as a discussion how the higher temperatures have reduced the snowpack in some areas - snow that is critical for hydroelectric power generationg.

"... The drought has also affected hydroelectric power generation. California hydroelectric power plants were expected to produce 1,137 fewer megawatts this summer than in the past due to drought over the winter, said Stephanie McCorkle, spokeswoman for California Independent System Operator, responsible for operation of most of California's power delivery. Snowpack in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, which provides water for power generation, was down as much as 50 percent in some areas in spring, McCorkle said.

"That is how we store electricity—in the snowpack," McCorkle said, adding that California relies on hydroelectric power for 16 percent of its peak summer resources and is projected to have a warmer-than-usual fall. "There are many factors that affect grid conditions, but I would say it's of concern," she said...."

-----

Imagine that. There wasn't a problem with generating capacity, despite the severity and extended of this summer's heat/drought. And the article is not about coal-fired plants shutting down - because they haven't shutdown yet. It isn't about insufficient spare capacity - becsuse that wasn't a factor. Regardless, both isues are irrelevant to the problem this summer exposed - that prolonged excessive heat OR drought impacted the industry that requires WATER to run, regardless of the fuel used for electric generating.

See what happens when you perpetually have your political blinders on...

READ !

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batloverNM
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 9:14:32 AM

Go with more clean solar PV and wind power.
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wamster
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 8:26:40 AM

We've had a few problems around Houston too.
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RichardoB
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 8:07:07 AM

Some people won't believe global warming is happening until their houses on the coast are under water.
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ClarkSC
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 6:56:13 AM

Bring on the windmills. One for every home.
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Amplion
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:45:50 AM

OBOZO & CRONIES DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO DO !!!!
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etothek
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:19:09 AM

Convert everything to natural gas!
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fenster66
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:18:22 AM

Hopefully summer should be over soon----
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jcurley
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:16:16 AM

Yes, and don't believe the right-wing media when they fess up and admit the global climate change could be a possibility.

(HA!)
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yelobus
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:15:09 AM

Nothing new here.
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computernut2008
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:14:04 AM

ok
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lenasdude
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:10:51 AM

??????????
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afghaned
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:05:02 AM

Interesting about water temp & power production.
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Quick68
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:04:34 AM

This was never been a problem 40 years ago.
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JCClark2012
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:02:52 AM

Time to look at Green and get a better system in place before next year.
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divebomber
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 4:02:05 AM

OK!
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eights
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:59:31 AM

i bet those electric plant r running on fuel and this will be another reason 4 them to raise even more! lol
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LanguageMan1
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:59:18 AM

The heat isn't good for most of us, and the drought is going to make life even more miserable for me, the poor and middle class as well. Obama nor the economy is helping either, nor is Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike. As for an increase in minimum wage, and I know this isn't a political forum, but I'll say it anyhow, I don't even see Democrats standing up for anything like that, and it's needed.
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chuckwthompson
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:59:09 AM

Didn't know that.
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TheeRedRam
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:57:55 AM

Hummmm
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SkooterG
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:57:04 AM

Wow. I had no idea so many power plants were running on the 'edge' of their cooling parameters. You think they would have been designed a bit better with more 'breathing room'.
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ddgb40
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:54:56 AM

????
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gudrench
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:50:02 AM

Uh-oh.
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unclenorman
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:46:11 AM

ok
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SteveMartin
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:45:55 AM

k
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UBDave
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:44:35 AM

Just how does this issue relate to gas prices??
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hybridaholic
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:42:58 AM

ok
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1heatguy
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:40:57 AM

ok
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lgwhitlock
Champion Author Chico

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:40:54 AM

Many states including California rely on hydroelectric plants. This along with regulations to protect the fish are the problem. We need new sources of energy; CNG seems the natural replacement...
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jetmech568
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:38:56 AM

ok
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bullseye100
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:35:52 AM

Interesting but not gas related.
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PetroScopper
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:35:15 AM

This drought has posed a bunch of problems for the whole country. I hate to see what the food prices might look like in a couple of months from now.
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TXryder
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:33:03 AM

Never thought about that. Local power generation plants have their own lakes for cooling. Evaporation alone gets to be enormous when the air and water temp gets very hot during these extreme summers. Then there is the lack of fresh runoff to replenish and the air temp at 100+ does not cool the water in time to recirculate.
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big_mac64
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:27:03 AM

funny...I read a story this past week saying just the opposite!
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runner74
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:22:45 AM

ok
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Scoutca
All-Star Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:22:43 AM

Good post LGWHITLOCK!! Most definitely need someone with authority to develop a balanced energy program..... [it certainly isn't going to be anyone in our current administration!!!]
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DavidsChallenge
All-Star Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:21:20 AM

Use natural gas and new coal burning plants!
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sts808
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:21:06 AM

ok
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outlaw329
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:21:06 AM

Maybe the electric companies need to invest in solar as well as the customers and while we are at it convert to natural gas for the family auto!
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Pozole
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:14:39 AM

...solar panels on EVERY building...
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fxb1
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:11:46 AM

ok
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vulcan96
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:08:00 AM

need more natural gas powered plants...
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Double_Golden
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:07:40 AM

put up more solar panel to generated clean energy power then...
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Gasazhunter
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 3:07:27 AM

Sucks.
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