Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could Nuclear Power Be The Answer To Fresh Water?

Date:
November 20, 2007
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Scientists are working on new solutions to the ancient problem of maintaining a fresh water supply. With predictions that more than 3.5 billion people will live in areas facing severe water shortages by the year 2025, the challenge is to find an environmentally benign way to remove salt from seawater. Global climate change, desertification, and over-population are already taking their toll on fresh water supplies. In coming years, fresh water could become a rare and expensive commodity.

Scientists are working on new solutions to the ancient problem of maintaining a fresh water supply. With predictions that more than 3.5 billion people will live in areas facing severe water shortages by the year 2025, the challenge is to find an environmentally benign way to remove salt from seawater.

Global climate change, desertification, and over-population are already taking their toll on fresh water supplies. In coming years, fresh water could become a rare and expensive commodity. Research results presented at the Trombay Symposium on Desalination and Water Reuse offer a new perspective on desalination and describe alternatives to the current expensive and inefficient methods.

Pradip Tewari of the Desalination Division at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, in Mumbai, India, discusses the increasing demand for water in India driven not only by growing population and expectancies rapid agricultural and industrial expansion. He suggests that a holistic approach is needed to cope with freshwater needs, which include primarily seawater desalination in coastal areas and brackish water desalination as well as rainwater harvesting, particularly during the monsoon season. "The contribution of seawater and brackish water desalination would play an important role in augmenting the freshwater needs of the country."

Meenakshi Jain of CDM & Environmental Services and Positive Climate Care Pvt Ltd in Jaipur highlights the energy problem facing regions with little fresh water. "Desalination is an energy-intensive process. Over the long term, desalination with fossil energy sources would not be compatible with sustainable development; fossil fuel reserves are finite and must be conserved for other essential uses, whereas demands for desalted water would continue to increase."

Jain emphasizes that a sustainable, non-polluting solution to water shortages is essential. Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and wave power, may be used in conjunction to generate electricity and to carry out desalination, which could have a significant impact on reducing potential increased greenhouse gas emissions. "Nuclear energy seawater desalination has a tremendous potential for the production of freshwater," Jain adds.

The development of a floating nuclear plant is one of the more surprising solutions to the desalination problem. S.S. Verma of the Department of Physics at SLIET in Punjab, points out that small floating nuclear power plants represent a way to produce electrical energy with minimal environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Such plants could be sited offshore anywhere there is dense coastal population and not only provide cheap electricity but be used to power a desalination plant with their excess heat. "Companies are already in the process of developing a special desalination platform for attachment to FNPPs helping the reactor to desalinate seawater," Verma points out.

A. Raha and colleagues at the Desalination Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, in Trombay, point out that Low-Temperature Evaporation (LTE) desalination technology utilizing low-quality waste heat in the form of hot water (as low as 50 Celsius) or low-pressure steam from a nuclear power plant has been developed to produce high-purity water directly from seawater. Safety, reliability, viable economics, have already been demonstrated. BARC itself has recently commissioned a 50 tons per day low-temperature desalination plant.

Co-editor of the journal*, B.M. Misra, formerly head of BARC, suggests that solar, wind, and wave power, while seemingly cost effective approaches to desalination, are not viable for the kind of large-scale fresh water production that an increasingly industrial and growing population needs.

India already has plans for the rapid expansion of its nuclear power industry. Misra suggests that large-scale desalination plants could readily be incorporated into those plans. "The development of advanced reactors providing heat for hydrogen production and large amount of waste heat will catalyze the large-scale seawater desalination for economic production of fresh water," he says.

*This research is published in the International Journal of Nuclear Desalination.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Could Nuclear Power Be The Answer To Fresh Water?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120082429.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2007, November 20). Could Nuclear Power Be The Answer To Fresh Water?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120082429.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Could Nuclear Power Be The Answer To Fresh Water?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120082429.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — For months California has suffered from a historic drought. The lack of water is worrying for farmers and ranchers, but for gold diggers it’s a stroke of good fortune. With water levels low, normally inaccessible areas are exposed. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — With only three weeks until Minnesota's fishing opener, many are wondering if the ice will be gone. Some of the Northland lakes are still covered by up to three feet of ice, causing concern that just like last year, the lakes won't be ready. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — With Pacific ocean water already showing signs of warming, the NOAA says there's about a 66 percent chance the event will begin before November. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins