Global power generation faces challenge from climate change

Climate change is impacting on the nuclear and coal power industries die to water warming and reduced river flows, according to new research.

Shutdowns of nuclear plants in the US have occurred as the water being taken in has proven to be too warm for cooling purposes.

Nuclear cooling towers

A study published in Nature Climate Change states that the likelihood of extreme drops in power generation from total or partial plant shutdowns will triple in the next 50 years.

Power from thermoelectric plants, which provide more than 90 per cent of electricity in the US and three-quarters in Europe, will decrease 4 per cent to 16 per cent in the US and 6 per cent to 19 per cent in Europe due to lack of cooling water between 2031 and 2060, the authors project, as reported in USA Today.

The findings have led to calls for a switch away from present cooling methods.

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