The heat wave, which is seen in parts of Europe and is considered the most intense in the history of Spain, is forcing nuclear power plants to shut down or reduce their output. These types of facilities require a lot of water to operate, and global warming is affecting their operation.

This happened in France, where they had to turn off four reactors at three nuclear power plants, which is confirmed Reuters. Also in Sweden, where one of the reactors was disabled. Germany, Switzerland and Finland have also been forced to reduce their overall power output.

And that heat waves affect not only the temperature of the environment, but also the temperature of the water. And, let’s remember, nuclear power plants require a closed steam-water system to operate.

In boiling water reactors, water is evaporated directly in the same reactor vessel. In pressurized water, it also circulates outside the fuel cells and then transfers this heat to the steam generator.

But in both cases, the condensation of the exhaust steam from the turbine dependent on external cooling water. It comes from swamps (natural or artificial), rivers, lakes or oceans.

That’s where the problem comes in. The temperature of the water in these bodies has risen so much due to heat waves caused by climate change that it cannot be used, causing the reactors to shut down or power generation to be reduced.

Heat waves and climate change will make things worse

In 2016—six years ago—special scientists issued dire warnings that outages to nuclear power plants and other water-based power plants would worsen as climate change became more visible and heat waves intensified. And, of course, all the changes, promises or agreements made after these announcements are not enough.

Paradoxically, one of the cleanest sources of energy, nuclear energy, is threatened by exactly what it is trying to fight: the effects of climate change.

Nuclear power plants are not the only infrastructure indirectly affected by climate change and heat waves. A few days ago, Google and Oracle were forced to shut down the servers in their data centers because it was impossible to keep them at the temperature they needed to work.

Source: Hiper Textual

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