Why are many coal-burning and nuclear power plants located near rivers?

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Nuclear plants are built on the shores of lakes, rivers, and oceans because these bodies provide the large quantities of cooling water needed to handle the heat discharge.  As energy is created in power plants, a significant amount of heat is produced.  Water is utilized throughout the day to absorb...

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Nuclear plants are built on the shores of lakes, rivers, and oceans because these bodies provide the large quantities of cooling water needed to handle the heat discharge.  As energy is created in power plants, a significant amount of heat is produced.  Water is utilized throughout the day to absorb this heat. Water is also utilized to cool down the equipment used in creating electricity.  In the event of an accident, nuclear power plants need water to help remove the decay heat produced by the reactor core. 

Coal burning power plants are located near water because the water is used to create energy.  In these plants coal is burned in a boiler which heats water and produces steam. The steam flows into a turbine which spins, and produces electricity.

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