A number of operating U.S. power generating facilities with closed-cycle cooling systems (CCS), and also those plants with open-cycle (once-through) cooling (OCS), are considering modifications to either modify or utilize closed-cycle cooling in the future. Some of the characteristics common to these plants include:
- Aging equipment and materials resulting in cooling system performance and reliability deterioration.
- Increased cost and lessened availability of raw cooling water leading to new closed-cycle systems to utilize higher cycles of concentration (COC).
- Decreasing quality of available water supplies.
- Compliance requirements associated with §316(a) and §316(b) of the Clean Water Act.
- Cooling system performance problems from legacy issues such as initial under-sizing.
- Power generating owner and operator desires for: Power uprates (typically for nuclear units), Unit life extension, & Need for improved operating cost competitiveness.
This paper addresses vital considerations that need to be addressed to identify the wisest approach for evaluating or modifying existing open- or closed -cycle cooling systems.
Jeffrey Mallory, Raubin Randels, Jeri Penrose, Daniele Ludovisi – Sargent & Lundy