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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
When a nuclear plant closes
Theresa Knickerbocker, the mayor of the village of Buchanan, N.Y., where the Indian Point nuclear power plant is located, is not happy. What has gotten Ms. Knickerbocker’s ire up is the fact that Indian Point’s Unit 2 was closed on April 30, and Unit 3 is scheduled to close in 2021. The village, population 2,300, is about 1.3 square miles total, with the Indian Point site comprising 240 acres along the Hudson River, 30 miles upstream of Manhattan. Unit 2 was a 1,028-MWe pressurized water reactor; Unit 3 is a 1,041-MWe PWR.
The nuclear plant provides the revenue for half of Buchanan’s annual $6-million budget, Knickerbocker told Nuclear News. That’s $3 million in tax revenues each year that eventually will go away. How will that revenue be replaced? Where will the replacement power come from?
C. W. Forsberg, D. Curtis, D. Stack
Nuclear Technology | Volume 198 | Number 1 | April 2017 | Pages 70-78
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2017.1294426
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A crushed rock heat storage facility with storage capacities of gigawatt-hours is proposed to couple to light water reactors (LWRs) to enable base-load LWR operation with (1) variable electricity to the grid and heat to industry and (2) substantially higher revenue in deregulated electricity markets with significant solar or wind generation capacity. At times of low electricity prices, crushed rock is heated by hot air in a two-stage process. Air is initially heated by a steam-air heat exchanger using LWR steam and then with electric resistance heaters before circulating from the top to bottom of the crushed rock pile. Depending upon the design, peak rock temperatures can be from 250°C to 800°C. Heat is recovered by circulating air from the bottom to the top of the crushed rock pile with the hot air sent to industrial furnaces or thermal electric power plants. For industrial applications the hot air is a partial replacement for the burning of fossil fuels in industrial furnaces. Many of the challenges and questions associated with such a system are being addressed by (1) the development of the Red Leaf shale oil process, where crushed oil shale in 30-m-high piles is heated with hot gases to thermally decompose solid kerogen to produce a light crude oil, and (2) firebrick resistance-heated energy storage (FIRES), where low-price electricity is used to heat firebrick to provide stored heat for space heating and in the future may provide heat for electricity production or industrial heat.