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Re: [cdn-nucl-l] Re: EFN - Association of Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy.
Neil's comment reminded me of my experience with the St. Petersburg Times (Florida) coverage of issues involving the Crystal River plant on the west coast of Florida. That plant is interesting because the site is actually home to five large power plants, four of them heated with coal and one with uranium.
The site has four large mushroom shaped cooling towers and those towers are often featured in photos accompanying stories related to nuclear power at Crystal River.
The ironic thing is that the nuclear plant at the site is cooled with a canal that leads to the nearby Gulf of Mexico, a body of water with plenty of cooling capacity. The four cooling towers are part of the cooling system for the four coal fired plants and were built at a time when digging canals had been deemed to be environmentally unacceptable.
No matter how many times I wrote to the newspaper to explain this and no matter how many conversations I had with journalists that seemed to understand my point that the pictures of the cooling towers should not accurately be used as illustrations for nuclear power stories, the editors still use the stock pictures.
In a message dated 12/26/04 6:58:19 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Randal Leavitt recently asked for information about EFN, but you may have
noticed that EFN's pictures are mostly of large cooling towers. A recent
IAEA publication had also highlighted large cooling towers, so I emailed
both the ECN and the IAEA as follows about 4 months ago;
"Pictures of some large natural draft cooling towers convey the idea that
future nuclear power stations will be need to be located where cooling water
is limited. Elsewhere I read that during the 2003 heat wave, the rising
temperatures in river water caused some nuclear power stations in Europe to
have power reduced or even shutdown. So these pictures may convey to some
that cooling water is a major limitation to the expanded use of nuclear
The focus on cooling water towers, obscures the fact that nuclear fuel is
small volume and easily transported so that nuclear power plants may be
located to where generous cooling water is always available.
How many existing nuclear power stations across the world have large cooling
water towers ? I could not find any data base which answers this question,
so I looked for pictures of nuclear power stations in old magazines such as
the IAEA Bulletin and Nuclear Engineering International, and found that
large natural draft cooling towers were in the minimum.
This quick magazine review plus my own experience in Canada, of exported
CANDUs, the UK and the USA. suggest that there many ( possibly the majority)
nuclear power stations do not have large natural draft cooling towers.
In any case, I suggest that pictures of nuclear power stations should focus
on reactor containment buildings which are of modest size and convey the
comforting idea of containment, rather than what may look to some people as
steam coming from a large unsightly cooling tower. Also some might fear that
such steam could become radioactive."
I received a prompt acknowledgement from EFN who seemed to accept my point
but, some 4 months later, still show the artist and the cooling towers.
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