Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Reports in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SRAMSOE) No. 16


The demand for electric power in the United States is expected to double every 10 years. As hydroelectric power plant sites reach their full capacity, the demand for electricity will be met by the development of fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. The average thermal efficiency of nuclear power plants is presently about 32%. Therefore, a significant amount of heat is not utilized. For large power plants, the once-through cooling method, in which water is withdrawn from an adjacent body of water and returned after being heated, is the most common one. However, the great amount of heat discharged into the water may result in changes in the physical and chemical properties as well as in the ecology due to the rise in temperature of the water. The objectives of this study is to determine the region of the James River estuary which will be affected by the thermal discharges of the Surry nuclear power plant located at Hog Island and the temperature distribution within that region. The area under study is shown in figure 1. The cooling water is pumped in from the James River at the right side of Hog Island and returned at the left side. The following is a progress report of the first year's work on this project.



Nuclear Power, Historic, Baseline, James River, Virginia, Surry


AEC Project AT-(40-1)-4067