Regulate temperature of water discharged from power plants
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Warm water discharged from power plants into the ocean can change ocean temperatures and as a result affect local habitat use by marine reptiles, such as sea turtles, which may seek out areas of specific temperatures (Madrak et al. 2016). Regulating the temperature of water discharged would also protect against any negative impacts of power plant closure, which can cause rapid changes in local ocean temperatures.
Madrak S.V., Lewison R.L., Seminoff J.A. & Eguchi T. (2016) Characterizing response of East Pacific green turtles to changing temperatures: using acoustic telemetry in a highly urbanized environment. Animal Biotelemetry, 4, 22.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 1983–1993 in a system of cooling canals for a power plant in Florida, USA (Brandt et al. 1995) reported that the canals were occupied by a population of American crocodiles Crocodylus acutus and that the population grew over the study period. A total of 55 nests were found in the canals, and the number of nest/year increased in the period from 1986–1993 (1983: 3 nests; 1993: 11 nests). The number of non-hatchlings crocodiles increased by an average of 9% each year from 1983–1993, and authors estimated that the populations consisted of 24–30 non-hatchling crocodiles. The Turkey Point power plant site (2,388 ha) had a large canal system acting as a closed loop system for cooling water discharged from the plant. Water temperatures in the canals averaged 38°C, and salinity was 36 ppt. Eight other non-connected canals are also located adjacent to the cooling canals. In 1983–1993, night surveys were conducted of the whole area twice/week to monitor crocodile distributions and survival of hatchlings and juveniles. In 1984–1993, nest surveys, night surveys for hatchlings and periodical day surveys were conducted within the cooling canal system and hatchlings were individually marked.Study and other actions tested