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Thisprojectreportis an efficiencyanalysisof the PaloVerde NuclearPowerPlantlocatedin
Analysisof electricaloutputandcostof production
Thisplantruns a PWR (pressurizedwaterreactor) tertiarycycle,withthe primarycycle beingthe
side linkedtothe heatfromthe reactor,the secondaryside runningalarge turbine generator,
and the tertiarycycle runninga smallerturbine generatoraswell.Allof these cyclesare
connectedbya seriesof heatexchangers,eachincorrespondinglydescendingtemperatures.
The processI will be analyzingisthe secondarycycle.The secondarycycle consistsmainlyof a
turbine connectedtoa generator,acondenser,afeedpump,anda heatexchanger(toreceive
heatfrom the primaryside).The condenserandheatexchangerare consideredtobe
completelyefficient(all heatistransferred,none islost)andthe turbine andpumpare
consideredtoinitiallybe isentropic(efficienciesusedtocalculate actual workdone).Below you
will findthe othercharacteristicsof the powerplantthatI believe make itbetterthananyother
competingnuclearplantinthe UnitedStates,orthe world.
PLANT DETAILS AND CHARACTERISTICS
There are several keycharacteristicsof thispowerplantthatmake itstand out fromthe rest of
the nuclearplantsinthe U.S., some of those being:
Size – one of the largestnuclearpowerfacilitiesinproductiontoday,generatingnearly
4GW of energy,20%higherthanany otherplantin the U.S.
Efficiency –rumoredto have near70% planttotal efficiency
Record-LowRadiation –Duringthe plant’slastoutage cycle,the average radiation
exposure wasonly19 (beatingpreviousrecordof 20)
PWR – Waterin the primaryreactor line (nuclearreactorside) ispressurizedabove
2000psi to preventthe waterfromboiling,thuscreatingamore stable cycle
Turbine-Generators –PaloVerde housesthree of the world’slargestturbinegenerators,
each producingnearly 1.3GW of energyonaverage (the powerplanthasthree units).
Aside fromthe abovementionedcharacteristicsof thisnuclearplant,there isalsoone final
designdetail thatis of greatimportance:the location.PaloVerde isone of the veryfew power
plantsthat isnot locatednexttoa large bodyof water,itbeinginthe middle of Arizona.Palo
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH
To: Dr. Bill Pedersen
Verde evaporatesthe waterfromsewage treatmentplantsfromnearbycitiesandtownsand
usesthat condensedwatertoprovide waterforthe secondaryline of the nuclearpowercycle.
PaloVerde isthe onlypowerplantinthe worldto use thistechnology.
In the previousparagraph,Ibrieflytoucheduponthe factthatPaloVerde useswater
evaporatedfromlocal sewage treatmentplantsasitsmainsource of water.Inadditiontothis,
PaloVerde hasmanyadditional environmental benefitssuchas:
PollutionDisplacement –Since the beginningof itsoperationin1968, the powerplant
has displacedmore than:
o 2.8 milliontonsof sulfurdioxide
o 503 milliontonsof carbondioxide,and
o 1.6 milliontonsof nitrogenoxides
No Emissions –The powerplantemitsnofumesaside fromsteam, because itdoesnot
use any fossil fuelstogenerate electricity.
Abundance of Fuel –Studieshave shownthatthere isenoughuraniuminthe earth
todayto keepnuclearpowergoingforhundredsof yearswithouthavingtofindanother
NuclearContainment –Itis statedthat the containmentshieldingof the generating
stationisover4 feetthickandcan withstandthe force of a jetaircraftat full speed.
It isthese reasonsabove thatI believethispowerplantbeatsoutnearlyanyothertype of
generatingplant.Inthe nextsection,Iwill analyze the electrical outputof the turbine
generatorsandcalculate the efficiencyof the generators.
Appendedtothisreport isthe analysisof the efficiencyandpoweroutputof the generating
station.Since the stationhasthree differentunits,Iwill assume the poweroutputforeachunit
is1.3GW inmy calculationswhichare appendedtothisreport.
Capitalgained W'net costenergy hoursyear 5.782 10
Thispowerplantmakesupwardsof $578200000 a year (before all otherconsiderations),or578
milliondollars.Iamsure that there are a significantlylarge amountof costsassociatedwiththe
restof thispowerplant,butI have neglectedtheseforthisanalysis.
In conclusion,inthisanalysisIhave inferredthatthispowerplantmakesasignificantamountof
money,andalsoadds a large amountof powertothe grid of Americathat otherwise would
have to be addedby coal or natural gas,both of whichemitgasesthat are harmful to the
environmentandthe image of powerproductionfacilities.Ibelieve thatnuclearpowerstations
like thisone have agreat thinggoing,andI also believe thatwe shouldinvestheavilyinthemas
theyare the powerof the future.
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