Originally Posted by Jones
To try to clarify some information. <I have not read up on this plant. I do not currently support or oppose this plant. In general I support nuclear power. I do a fair amount of consulting work for the hydraulic side of the nuclear industry and could very possibly one day do work directly on a project for this plant.>
The water would only be used for cooling and would have to be returned to the river. The water that is used for boiling is a part of a closed loop system that "never" leaves the plant. The boiled water (steam) goes through the generators then to a condenser before returning to the reactor where it turns into steam again. At the condenser is where the river water would "interact" with the plant. The river water would be used to cool the steam back into a liquid form, through the radiator idea mentioned above. The river water would then be discharged back into the river.
The plant would be considered non-consumptive, outside of minor losses due to evaporation and such, and would not have a significant impact on the flows in the river. Water goes into the plant and is released somewhere downstream. The impact of the increased heat load in the water, intake and discharge structures, and other aquatic issues would be evaluated and mitigated in the final design phase of the plant, prior to getting the license from the NRC.
"Unlike some nuclear reactors, all the water that would be used annually by the plant -- equal to the capacity of East Canyon Reservoir -- would be given off as steam after cooling the nuclear reactor."
Source: Smart, Christopher. "Green River Nuclear Power Proposal Sparks Big Questions". The Salt Lake Tribune
. 24 Jan 2010