As with conventional generation of power, waste heat energy, which remains due to the finite efficiency of the power cycle, is released directly into the atmosphere, directly to river or lake water, or indirectly into the atmosphere using a cooling tower with river or lake water used as a cooling medium. Synthetex’s HYDROTEX® Fabric Formed Concrete mattresses are often used as erosion protection for the side slopes of water cooling channels and retention basins.
Power plant reactor fuel rods spend approximately three operational cycles (typically six years total) inside the reactor, typically until the point where about 3% of their uranium has been fissioned. At that point, they are moved to a spent fuel pool where the short-lived isotopes generated by fission can decay away. After approximately five years in a spent fuel pool, the spent fuel is then radioactively and thermally cool enough to handle, at which point it can either be moved to dry storage casks or reprocessed. HYDROTEX Fabric Formed Concrete mattresses are currently utilized for the protection of spent fuel pools.