Cooling Tower for Power Plant

This is not a Nuclear Power Plant


This is not a nuclear power plant, it is a cooling tower. Notice the two smoke stacks at the left of the tower. Of course, a nuclear power plant does not need smoke stacks. This is a cooling tower for a gas-fired power plant in Chengdu, China. Electricity is produced by burning natural gas. Hence the smoke stacks.

Electricity is often made from the heat of burning coal, oil, or natural gas. Sometimes the heat comes from a nuclear reactor. The heat is then used to power a steam turbine that drives the electric generator. After the steam leaves the turbine it is cooled and condensed so the resulting water can be used again. Sometimes water from a river or lake is used for cooling. Sometimes air is used as in the case of the nuclear power plant near Phoenix, Arizona. The photo below shows a cooling tower that uses both air and water. Nuclear power plants in the US commonly use this type of cooling tower and so it is thought that this is the power plant itself. Then the nuclear reactor will be in a separate structure with a domed roof. In many countries, this type of cooling tower is commonly used for coal- and gas-fired power plants. However if smoke stacks are present, the power is not nuclear.

Cooling Tower for Power Plant

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