One of the major issues during the site selection and design of a NPP is the heat sink issue, i.e. installation and availability of reliable and efficient recipient of heat (air, water or both of them) in relation in particular with:
• waste the heat removed from the condenser of the turbines during normal operational state,
• waste the heat removed from all of the safety-related and non-safety-related equipment and systems during normal operational state,
• waste the residual heat removed from nuclear reactor fuel (situated in reactor vessel or tubes), the decay heat removed from nuclear spent fuel (situated in spent fuel pool), and the heat removed from all of the safety-related equipment and systems during abnormal operational state and accident conditions.
There are several “newcomer” countries that are situated in warm climate zones. In such countries, the cooling water design could be a challenge with regards to extreme water and air temperatures, air humidity, absence of an important reliable cold water source inside the country, etc. In addition, some specific items related to natural, industrial and human environment should be considered during the site evaluation, as for example, risk of intensive biota development, oil spills, siltation, low water level events, etc.
This requires particular consideration of the heat sink issue for the site regulatory review during the licensing process. The article discusses the methodology for site regulatory review with regards to the heat sink issue and provides some practical advises on safety assessment and acceptance criteria to be considered.