Here's something you probably don't hear very often: A nuclear power plant that lights up thousands of homes in Florida has become a major refuge for a once-endangered species. Canals designed to divert power plant water provide a safe haven for crocodiles, a supremely cold-sensitive species that once numbered fewer than 300 in this country. The closed-loop cooling system channels warmed water into the canals, heating the crocs' once-disappearing habitat.
"It's wound up being a win-win situation for the animals," said Bianca Martinez Cruz, spokeswoman for Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point nuclear power plant.
Crocodiles' only habitat in this country is in south Florida (where they coexist with the more common alligator; it's the only place in the world that boasts both species), but that habitat was slowly eroded by development throughout the mid-20th century, as this AP feature story says. By the 1970s, there were fewer than 300 crocs in the state, and the federal government classified them as endangered.
But in 1977, Turkey Point employees happened upon a crocodile nest in one of the then-new plant's cooling canals. The company set up a monitoring program to ensure they didn't hurt the animals (none has been found with any radiation), and this program has helped track their rebound, according to the AP. Crocodile monitoring entails capturing the beasts, microchipping them and weighing them. A video below shows what this work looks like. Florida Power has a team of biologists who keep tabs on the crocs — not exactly the type of job you would expect to find at a nuclear plant.
Now there are something like 1,500 crocs in south Florida, hundreds of which live at Turkey Point. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service credits the power company for the population increase.
Hang on a second! So now global cooling is bad and global warming is good??? Maybe it's climate change that's bad. If we could somehow get the earth to stay at around 75 degrees with an exacting sequense of rainfall, then maybe we might be good? No wait, we need cold for the ice-caps so tempurature fluctuations have to be consistent. But no, then there won't be a natural progression of good erosion and evolution won't happen on a normalized scale. DANG IT! I give up. Besides...I think I just hurt myself...
let's face the fact that the world is going to change whether we like it or not, not every extinction was caused by meteors or hunting or some other big catastrophe. sometimes we can do nothing to save a species simply because the world decided this Millennium to be a few degrees hotter on average.
to mars or bust!
I remember hearing a story about a janitor at one of the power plants who had the job of clearing out the intake shaft of lobster that would accumulate there. He'd properly size them and sell them at the local market. When he died - he gave a million dollars to the school where he worked on weekends. He was LOADED - all from these lobsters he kept selling for years and years. They had to be cleaned out though and no one else wanted them..
I wonder if the crocs will get to a point where there will be too many and we'll soon be wearing Turkey Point shoes and belts. This is great news obviously (not the belts and shoes) but just makes me think this could evolve into a bit of a problem.
I smell a scy-fy movie plot in the making! Nuclear Gators
id watch that movie! wait i think i already have. sooo many giant crock movies.
how about some glow in the dark gators!! now thatd b a cool pet
"none has been found with any radiation"
I assume you put this to prevent the anti-nuc goofs being like radiation! radiation! death! and I appreciate that.
For those who took it to mean "no radiation yet" or its working for now..... google how a PWR works.
The water from lakes/rivers is used for the Condensate-Feedwater System. The steam from heating up the water is contained in pipes( which become hot), and the feeder water runs on the outside of the pipes and is heated.
I remember learning about this in 3rd grade. And I'm not being sarcastic. I really do.
@conquerall - now, now.... we cant go and let that fact get in the way of a perfectly good anti-nuclear misinformation.
First you go and tell them the cooling towers are just releasing water vapor and not concentrated wisps of pure radiation, and next they may not believe that the lake/river/ocean outlets aren't pouring out glowing green mutagens.
on a more serious note, the water that comes into contact with the environment is actually twice removed from the reactor, generally speaking. The coolant in direct contact with the core will transfer its heat to a closed steam generator/condenser , which is essentially a fully isolated secondary coolant loop free from any radioactive contamination (and they monitor this, which is why its a closed loop). Then you finally transfer the heat from that loop through a heat exchanger to the open loop in question in this article (which they also monitor for contamination).
Some smaller research reactor wont have the steam loop so they may only have a single degree of separation (all the closer to Kevin...).
By this gator smile, seems he is well fed, ut-o!