FRE0 saidThat's interesting. However, if we start extracting it, ocean water may intrude into it causing it to become saline.
Already some countries are using sea water desalination to meet their needs for fresh water. The need for that will greatly increase. Unless we use nuclear power for sea water desalination, the power required will cause a considerable increase in CO2 emissions and that must be prevented.
That would be extremely foolish. Just one bad day on a nuclear power plant and all that water will become radioactive.
All WHAT water will become radioactive?
Suppose that reverse osmosis is used to desalinate the water. In that case, the nuclear power plant could even be miles away from the desalination plant in which case a reactor problem would not result in radioactive desalinated water.
Nuclear plants leak; Nuclear plants have meltdowns. One bad day at a nuclear plant overshadows all of the decades of benefits from all of the other nuclear plants combined.... And even if nothing ever went wrong and nuclear plants were completely foolproof, nuclear waste piles up by the ton and remains radioactive for 240,000 years!!! Nuclear energy is THE most foolish source of energy humans have ever come up with. As it is, we're doomed by the nuclear plants we've already built. They are all old and leaking, after operating for several decades. How the hell can we maintain them and keep them sealed for 240,000 years???
The basic problem is that we implemented the wrong nuclear technology. Our present nuclear technology is based on what was expedient to get material for military weapons. It is exceedingly inefficient. It uses less than 1% of its enriched uranium fuel for energy; the rest, i.e., 99%, is discarded as waste. That's only part of the problem. Natural uranium is only 0.7% U235 with the rest being U238. For commercial reactors, the natural uranium is enriched to from 3% to 5% U235 by discarding most of the U238.
Another problem with our current pressurized water uranium reactor technology is that the reactor has to be in a pressure vessel pressurized to about 2500 psi. That means that the reactor has to be a very thick and expensive forging to withstand the pressure. And, in case the pressure vessel ruptures, it has to be in a containment structure able to withstand the pressure pulse. But, that is not all.
When a reactor is shut down, fission stops immediately. However, because of the highly radioactive fission products in the reactor, it at first generates about 9% as much heat as if it were normally operating. To prevent a melt-down, there has to be provision to remove that heat until the highly radioactive materials decay. Our current reactors depend on an emergency cooling system for that. There are back-up emergency cooling pumps in case a pump fails. And, in case of grid power failure, there are emergency Diesel generators. If there are multiple failures, a melt-down can occur.
The wisdom of designing nuclear power systems that depend on multiple layers of protection to prevent disaster is at least questionable, especially since it is possible to design nuclear reactor systems that are walk-away safe, i.e., that cannot melt down.
The Fukushima disaster occurred because idiots located the emergency Diesel generators below the level which tsunamis had previously reached. The Chernobyl reactor was of a very dangerous design the main purpose of which was to produce weapons-grade plutonium; its secondary purpose was to produce power. Before the melt-down occurred, the safety systems were disabled for test purposes. The control rods were a bad design which caused them to jam making it impossible to shut the reactor down. And finally, there was no containment structure; the reactor was in what amounted to a warehouse building.
The Three Mile Island disaster was a disaster only to the investors. I've read that the resulting radioactive contamination was so severe that nothing will grow in the area; that is a lie. You can find pictures of the area on the Internet; there is no problem with radioactive contamination there.
A few decades ago, our government foolishly halted R & D on different reactor types, including the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) which had been successfully tested in prototype form and is incapable of melting down. It looks very promising, but there is also the integral fast reactor (IFR) which may be another way to go. Either system could use our present nuclear waste as fuel thereby reducing its volume to about 1% of what it is now. Moreover, the waste that is left would decay more quickly and need to be sequestered for only a few hundred years.
The Chinese, with the cooperation of other countries and the U.S. scientists who did the work on the LFTR, are doing research work on the LFTR. It may be that because we foolishly halted research on it, we will end up buying the technology from China.
Until I took a motorcycle trip a few years ago from Albuquerque to Savannah, Georgia, I was strongly in favor of renewable energy system. Then, I saw many wind farms with stationary turbines and wondered whether adequate consideration had been given to the fact that wind and solar power systems are intermittent. After doing countless hours of searching, I was unable to find any studies that indicated that renewables could provide power 24 hours per day 365 days per year and concluded that, to control CO2 emissions and global warming, nuclear power was the only option for most large prosperous countries. That is especially true since we must get about 90% of our power from non-CO2 emitting sources, including power for transportation, cooking, home heating, etc.
Like it or not, nuclear power is essential. Thus, we must implement nuclear power systems which are less expensive, safer, and less wasteful.
I have not limited my information to only one or a few sources. I have diligently studied energy systems both by buying books and by reading articles on the Internet. The media will not properly inform us. To be well enough informed to have a valid opinion, it is necessary to spend many hours reading material form various sources.