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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: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @10:12AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @10:12AM (#1255310)

    Was browsing Youtube earlier today, ran across some Lake Mead videos. The lake is nearly dead. The Colorado River is dying.

    You know, this is just bullshit

    https://savethecolorado.org/threats/population-growth/ [savethecolorado.org]

    1. it's the population, stupid
    2. it's the agriculture
    3. go back to point 1

    The river is not "dying".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River [wikipedia.org]

    Prior to the completion of Glen Canyon Dam in 1964, the average discharge recorded between 1912 and 1962 was 17,850 cubic feet per second (505 m3/s), or 12.93 million acre-feet (15.95 km3) per year

    640 m3/s -- current average unimpeded discharge

    100% of your water problems are caused by yourselves. Not only you are blocking Colorado River from reaching Mexico in any meaningful fashion, destroying the environment there, but now you are using so much water, that the reservoirs are falling. Why? PEOPLE. And this crisis is not new either. I've heard of this since the 1960s! And it's brought on by lack of regulation.

    This problem is like having 100k ticks on a deer and then they are complaining that the deer is dying. Maybe, you know, plan ahead a little instead of acting like those ticks on a deer.

    Desalination plants? For where, Arizona? You know, they need water access in the first place. And desalination plants are not going to save you due lack of water management. It's just another way of "how to make money on the sheeple". Manage water access to businesses and farms and other excess users and there will be no issue with "Colorado River dying".

    Bad enough the migrants from Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Now we have to deal with Californians?

    This is aside, but congrats on reaping what you sow?

    As for California, it seems it lost mostly the poor and there is net positive migration of the well-off. Must me them taxes? (hint: it's lack of affordable housing)

    https://www.ppic.org/blog/whos-leaving-california-and-whos-moving-in/ [ppic.org]

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 22, @11:23AM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 22, @11:23AM (#1255316) Journal

    100% of your water problems are caused by yourselves. Not only you are blocking Colorado River from reaching Mexico in any meaningful fashion, destroying the environment there, but now you are using so much water, that the reservoirs are falling. Why? PEOPLE. And this crisis is not new either. I've heard of this since the 1960s! And it's brought on by lack of regulation.

    "Lack of regulation"? You just said it was "PEOPLE".

    That last complaint also ignores that the river has been fully allotted [wikipedia.org] by regulation for a century. Yes, since 1922. Just because a decision is regulated doesn't make it a good one.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @04:00AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @04:00AM (#1255519)

      The allocation doesn't mean much when Federal law says that as long as there is a drought California can claim a larger share and everyone else has to make up the difference.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 23, @04:46AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 23, @04:46AM (#1255527) Journal

        The allocation doesn't mean much when Federal law says

        Consider what you're saying with that phrase. Conflicting regulation is still regulation.

  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday June 22, @03:31PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday June 22, @03:31PM (#1255376) Journal

    I like how they are also floating!

    I'm not opposed to some "futurism" from time to time but to take a nuke plant and add a fucking boat to it and pretend we don't need the fix the so-fucked-it's-on-southpark water rights laws is insane!