Can thorium reactors solve world’s water crisis?
The looming water crisis is shown in this infographic (or see below). Fresh water will increasingly be a problem for the world’s population. We can make more fresh water by distilling seawater or using reverse osmosis to purify seawater. But both processes are energy intensive and will contribute to global warming. What if there was an efficient way to do it that didn’t require fossil fuels? A way that was a by-product of making electricity? Actually, there is.
Liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs) are nuclear reactors that can not only make electricity far more safely that the pressurized light water reactors (the current standard for the nuclear industry) but can also make fresh water as a secondary product. Here are just some of LFTR advantages (there are plenty more!):
• massive amount of thorium available
• unlike current light water reactors, no chance of meltdown
• LFTRs can “burn” radioactive waste from current nuclear plants
• can use process heat to distill water