Water Resources Assessment and Management for Nuclear Power Plants in China

Xiaowen Ding, Wei Wang, Guohe Huang, Qingwei Chen, Guoliang Wei


To deal with global warming and energy shortage, nuclear power plants are constructed or planning to be constructed in China presently. The operation of a nuclear power plant consumes a great amount of water and discharges a lot of radioactive wastewater into nearby marine or freshwater environment. Therefore, water resources assessment and management are crucial to this kind of plants considering their significance to not only marine and freshwater environment protection but also sustainable development of nuclear power industry. This article proposed the contents, procedures and methods of water resources assessment and management for nuclear power plants based on the overview of development process of nuclear power plants in China. Furthermore, the tendency of water resources assessment and management for nuclear power plants in China was also presented. Water resources assessment for a nuclear power plant in China should analyze local water resources, the rationality of water-draw and utilization of a plant, water sources, the impact of water-draw and wastewater discharge as well as water resources safety mainly. The key processes of it may include data collection, compiling a work outline, analyzing local water resources as well as water-draw and wastewater discharge of a plant, and completing and approving the report. The suggested methods of it are referring legal documents, site investigate, model simulation, expert consultation and public participation. Finally, suggestions, including carrying out comparison as well as selection of several optional sites, improving impact assessment of radioactive wastewater discharge and enhancing public participation, are also proposed. 

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