Power Generation and Environmental Change | MIT Press | Datenbank | sack.de
Berkowitz / Squires

Power Generation and Environmental Change

MIT Press

Enormous increases in the demand for power throughout the world make it
imperative to reduce the environmental hazards and pollution associated with power
generation. This book discusses the effects that power generation has had on the
land, the water, the air, and the biosphere. It reviews the technological means
available for abatement and control of damaging environmental effects and describes
power generation techniques that could prove more compatible with the environment.To
meet the growing demand for power in the United States, generating capacity must be
doubled in the next ten years. Plants scheduled to be retired in that interval must
also be replaced. Although there are promising, advanced techniques for generating
power more efficiently and more cleanly at some future time, the problem at hand is
how to construct the needed capacity for the next twenty years. This book focuses on
those newer techniques which in realistic engineering terms show promise of
large-scale application in that period of time.The primary means of generating power
are nuclear, hydroelectric, and fossil fuel. What effects do these have on the
environment? Nuclear generating plants and nuclear fuel processing plants release
radionuclides in a variety of gaseous, liquid, and solid chemical forms.
Hydroelectric dams drastically alter the landscape and produce direct change in the
ecology of life systems. Fuel combustion pollutes air with smoke and oxides of
sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon. Mining activities scar land and pollute rivers.
Nuclear- and fossil-fueled plants waste more energy than is contained in the usable
power that they produce; most of the wasted energy warms lakes and rivers whose
waters are diverted for cooling purposes.What can be done to control these
widespread environmental effects? One proposal in this book is to encourage
reduction of radioactive wastes from nuclear power generation by reducing the
federal guidelines for radiation exposure of the population. This subject is
particularly controversial. In separate chapters, the bases for the federal
guidelines are questioned and supported by the respective proponents, and the
technology for control is reviewed.Another proposal suggests wider application of
improved combustion techniques for coal, the most abundant energy resource.
Pollutants that formerly went up the stack can now be removed earlier in the process
of combustion. Coal is also a source material for gaseous and liquid fuels, for
which natural supplies are dwindling and to which our fuel economy is heavily
committed.Man's desire for power must be reconciled with the needs of his
environment. This book presents the many and varied relationships between power
generation and environmental change and provides a basis for understanding the
consequences of increased power generation capacity.
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