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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 22, @02:42AM   Printer-friendly

BBC - Could nuclear desalination plants beat water scarcity?

There are communities on every continent running short of water, according to the United Nations. Unfortunately, although our planet is swathed by oceans and seas, only a tiny fraction of Earth's water - about 2.5% - is fresh, and demand for drinking water is projected to exceed supply by trillions of cubic metres by 2030. Desalination plants, which remove the salt from seawater, could help supply the fresh water needed. However, these plants are considered among the most expensive ways of creating drinking water- as they pump large volumes across membranes at high pressure, which is an extremely energy intensive process. One radical solution could be using floating vessels equipped with desalination systems.

Powered by nuclear reactors, these vessels could travel to islands, or coastlines, struck by drought, bringing with them both clean drinking water and power. "You could have them moving around on an intermittent basis, filling up tanks," says Mikal Bøe, chief executive of Core Power, which has come up with design for this type of desalination plant.

It may sound far-fetched but the US Navy has provided desalination services during disasters in the past, with the help of its nuclear-powered ships, while Russia already has a floating nuclear power station designed to potentially power desalination facilities.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday June 22, @03:50AM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 22, @03:50AM (#1255213) Journal

    Why not permanent installations instead of vessels making a regular circuit to various coastal locations to fill up water tanks, provide power?

    Only Checkov would approve of Nuclear Wessels.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @04:27AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @04:27AM (#1255221)

    Why not permanent installations instead of vessels...?

    I was thinking the same. It's much more logical to build a regular offshore rig

  • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday June 22, @06:52AM

    by legont (4179) on Wednesday June 22, @06:52AM (#1255250)

    That's because you know the shit will hit the fan but you don't know which blade will strike it first.

    Meantime nobody gonna give you money for the whole bar roof repair. They will be waiting for the folks covered with shit.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @09:20AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @09:20AM (#1255300)

    Why not permanent installations instead of vessels

    Because seagoing vessels can just go elsewhere if/when legislated against?
    Anti-nuclear-power legislation bought by Russian money is a clear and present danger, it is prudent to be prepared.