We hear about it all the time, but there’s a problem. When you have a drought going on then you don’t have the water to cool the reactors. The solution? Shut them down:
Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.
Utility officials say such shutdowns probably wouldn’t result in blackouts. But they could lead to shockingly higher electric bills for millions of Southerners, because the region’s utilities could be forced to buy expensive replacement power from other energy companies.
Already, there has been one brief, drought-related shutdown, at a reactor in Alabama over the summer.
This isn’t a problem with nuclear power that is discussed that much. Unfortunately it takes reality setting in to bring it front and center.