PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cooling tower maintenance. Maintenance workers using climbing ropes to check the interior of a cooling tower for defects. This cooling tower, which is several hundred metres tall, is part of a nuclear-powered uranium enrichment factory, and is checked every year. Cooling towers are used to dispose of waste heat from industrial processes. The waste energy is absorbed by water, which is sprayed into the cooling tower where it evaporates. Some of the water condenses and is reused, and some is lost as water vapour into the atmosphere. Disposing of excess heat into the atmosphere is more efficient than discharging hot water into rivers and lakes. Photographed in 2004, at Eurodif's George Besse factory, at the Tricastin site in southern France.
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