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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: 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.