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Title: Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination - Regional Potable Water in Arizona

Abstract

The present study analyzes the economic viability of an Integrated Energy System (IES) that couples a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water desalination facility with a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The case study is conducted in collaboration with Arizona Public Service (APS), the operating owner of the Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS) NPP. Cooling water for the reactor steam cycle is derived from treated effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plants. APS has established a long-term water resources program to effect a substantial reduction in plant cooling costs through advanced treatment and cooling technologies, and through the use of alternative water sources to replace the increasingly expensive effluent. One possible option is to replace some amount of the annual volume of effluent with brackish groundwater from a local regional aquifer. Although much less expensive than the municipal effluent, the quantity of brackish groundwater that could be used for plant cooling is limited as a result of the salinity and its impact on plant operation. Consequently, supplemental treatment could be required such that a greater amount of brackish groundwater could be used to reduce the demand on effluent. A study was conducted in 2018 by Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to investigate the economics ofmore » a PVGS onsite RO desalination plant that would reduce the salinity of a municipal effluent and brackish water blend to an acceptable level. One of the main findings of that study was that the overall economics of water desalination can be greatly improved if, in addition to cooling water for PVGS, potable water could also be produced and sold for profit. In fact, the study concluded that only producing cooling water for PVGS via RO desalination is not economically viable. The present report investigates the economic impact of a large, regional RO desalination plant that could provide potable water for the region, considering the conclusions from the 2018 scoping study. The study looks in particular at the water-market situation for the developing municipalities in the west valley of Phoenix. In addition to providing potable water for the municipalities, the existing infrastructure that conveys effluent to the Palo Verde plant and onsite water treatment facilities could be used to manage the RO concentrate. The processed concentrate could lead to a cost reduction in plant cooling by replacing some amount of effluent. The analysis reported here considers two cases (for various scenarios). First, the Base Case considers that neither the regional nor the onsite RO is built. The 2018 INL study showed that some brackish water can be blended with the municipal effluent water without having to build the onsite RO. That correspond to the maximum economically profitable option. The Base Case is where APS pumps the maximum volume of less-expensive brackish water (limited by water chemistry in the circulating water system), i.e. the case for which cooling water acquisition and treatment cost are lowest (without RO). Second, the proposed RO Case includes two RO plants, one onsite at PVGS and another larger, regional RO plant close to the brackish water wells. The regional RO produces potable water that is sold to the regional municipalities, while the PVGS onsite RO treats (part of) the regional ROs' concentrate and brackish water blend. The desalinated water from the PVGS RO is used in the circulating water system at PVGS. The analysis evaluates the difference in economics, using the Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR), between the cases. By comparing the two cases, in addition to evaluating the economics of the regional RO, we can also assess the impact of the regional RO on PVGS operational costs and, consequently, APS economics. The study shows that there exist combinations of regional RO and PVGS RO sizes for which the total blowdown and water chemistry limits at PVGS (including regional RO concentrate treatment at PVGS) are satisfied. However, such combinations only exist if no additional brackish water is directly mixed in the tertiary water system at PVGS. This leads to higher Levelized Costs of Potable Water (LCOPW) compared to cases where additional brackish water is injected (but violate the physical constraints). Additional studies are suggested to investigate the benefit of additional brackish water injection (lowers cooling water cost) versus the cost of lifting the physical constraints, e.g. building additional evaporation ponds. Staying in the case of no additional brackish water and satisfying the existing PVGS constraints, the lowest LCOPW (~0.5 $/m3) can be achieved with a size of the regional RO of ~1.4e7 m3/yr (11000 AF/yr) capacity, which leads to ~8.63e6 m3/yr (7000 AF/yr) of potable water while no onsite RO at PVGS is built. Considering the vii residential water demand model developed for the Phoenix west valley, the NPV for this regional RO would be ~$100 million if all municipalities in the vicinity participate from the beginning of the project.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1597896
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-19-55736-Rev.01
TRN: US2102724
DOE Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; integrated energy system; reverse osmosis; nuclear power plant; Arizona Public Service; Palo Verde Generating Station

Citation Formats

Epiney, Aaron S., Richards, James D., Hansen, Jason K., Talbot, Paul W., Burli, Pralhad Hanumant, Rabiti, Cristian, and Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination - Regional Potable Water in Arizona. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1597896.
Epiney, Aaron S., Richards, James D., Hansen, Jason K., Talbot, Paul W., Burli, Pralhad Hanumant, Rabiti, Cristian, & Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination - Regional Potable Water in Arizona. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1597896
Epiney, Aaron S., Richards, James D., Hansen, Jason K., Talbot, Paul W., Burli, Pralhad Hanumant, Rabiti, Cristian, and Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. 2019. "Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination - Regional Potable Water in Arizona". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1597896. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1597896.
@article{osti_1597896,
title = {Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination - Regional Potable Water in Arizona},
author = {Epiney, Aaron S. and Richards, James D. and Hansen, Jason K. and Talbot, Paul W. and Burli, Pralhad Hanumant and Rabiti, Cristian and Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M.},
abstractNote = {The present study analyzes the economic viability of an Integrated Energy System (IES) that couples a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water desalination facility with a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The case study is conducted in collaboration with Arizona Public Service (APS), the operating owner of the Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS) NPP. Cooling water for the reactor steam cycle is derived from treated effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plants. APS has established a long-term water resources program to effect a substantial reduction in plant cooling costs through advanced treatment and cooling technologies, and through the use of alternative water sources to replace the increasingly expensive effluent. One possible option is to replace some amount of the annual volume of effluent with brackish groundwater from a local regional aquifer. Although much less expensive than the municipal effluent, the quantity of brackish groundwater that could be used for plant cooling is limited as a result of the salinity and its impact on plant operation. Consequently, supplemental treatment could be required such that a greater amount of brackish groundwater could be used to reduce the demand on effluent. A study was conducted in 2018 by Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to investigate the economics of a PVGS onsite RO desalination plant that would reduce the salinity of a municipal effluent and brackish water blend to an acceptable level. One of the main findings of that study was that the overall economics of water desalination can be greatly improved if, in addition to cooling water for PVGS, potable water could also be produced and sold for profit. In fact, the study concluded that only producing cooling water for PVGS via RO desalination is not economically viable. The present report investigates the economic impact of a large, regional RO desalination plant that could provide potable water for the region, considering the conclusions from the 2018 scoping study. The study looks in particular at the water-market situation for the developing municipalities in the west valley of Phoenix. In addition to providing potable water for the municipalities, the existing infrastructure that conveys effluent to the Palo Verde plant and onsite water treatment facilities could be used to manage the RO concentrate. The processed concentrate could lead to a cost reduction in plant cooling by replacing some amount of effluent. The analysis reported here considers two cases (for various scenarios). First, the Base Case considers that neither the regional nor the onsite RO is built. The 2018 INL study showed that some brackish water can be blended with the municipal effluent water without having to build the onsite RO. That correspond to the maximum economically profitable option. The Base Case is where APS pumps the maximum volume of less-expensive brackish water (limited by water chemistry in the circulating water system), i.e. the case for which cooling water acquisition and treatment cost are lowest (without RO). Second, the proposed RO Case includes two RO plants, one onsite at PVGS and another larger, regional RO plant close to the brackish water wells. The regional RO produces potable water that is sold to the regional municipalities, while the PVGS onsite RO treats (part of) the regional ROs' concentrate and brackish water blend. The desalinated water from the PVGS RO is used in the circulating water system at PVGS. The analysis evaluates the difference in economics, using the Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR), between the cases. By comparing the two cases, in addition to evaluating the economics of the regional RO, we can also assess the impact of the regional RO on PVGS operational costs and, consequently, APS economics. The study shows that there exist combinations of regional RO and PVGS RO sizes for which the total blowdown and water chemistry limits at PVGS (including regional RO concentrate treatment at PVGS) are satisfied. However, such combinations only exist if no additional brackish water is directly mixed in the tertiary water system at PVGS. This leads to higher Levelized Costs of Potable Water (LCOPW) compared to cases where additional brackish water is injected (but violate the physical constraints). Additional studies are suggested to investigate the benefit of additional brackish water injection (lowers cooling water cost) versus the cost of lifting the physical constraints, e.g. building additional evaporation ponds. Staying in the case of no additional brackish water and satisfying the existing PVGS constraints, the lowest LCOPW (~0.5 $/m3) can be achieved with a size of the regional RO of ~1.4e7 m3/yr (11000 AF/yr) capacity, which leads to ~8.63e6 m3/yr (7000 AF/yr) of potable water while no onsite RO at PVGS is built. Considering the vii residential water demand model developed for the Phoenix west valley, the NPV for this regional RO would be ~$100 million if all municipalities in the vicinity participate from the beginning of the project.},
doi = {10.2172/1597896},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1597896}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}