San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
A father-son team of scientists writing for the right-leaning news site WorldNetDaily have determined a solution for fighting California's extreme drought.
According to Art Robinson, a UC San Diego graduate and former staffer before founding his own remote lab (the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, where he currently toils with his son Noah), the twin nuclear reactors of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station along San Diego's northern coast could have solved the state's water problems. Instead, a radioactive leak led to an emergency shutdown that became permanent after severe damage was discovered at both reactors' steam generators.
The shutdown and decision to shutter the plant was determined by "anti-technology liberals," write the Robinsons, who used math to arrive at their solution.
"Current desalinization technology produces about 70 gallons of fresh water (from sea water) per kilowatt hour. Estimating personal water use at 100 gallons per day, California’s 38.8 million people use 3.9 billion gallons of water per day."
Instead of shuttering San Onofre, the pair argues, the facility's entire electrical generating power could have been used to supply a desalination project dwarfing the one currently under construction in Carlsbad (itself the largest ever to be built in the U.S.), providing 3.6 billion gallons of water daily.
Scaling up from what they refer to as Carlsbad's "small" project, the estimated cost for such an undertaking was estimated at around $78 billion, or about half of the state's overall proposed 2015-2016 budget.
Building another nine plants (at a $62 billion total cost) and nine more mega-desalination facilities would provide enough desalinated seawater to cover the state's agricultural water demand, the duo suggests.
"Why destroy San Onofre? Californians have become poorer as a result of this unprincipled political act," insist the Robinsons. "Californians are being led to believe that their lack of water is a result of natural causes and probably also human technology, from claimed human-caused global warming. This unprincipled lie about human technology is being used to diminish their access to hydrocarbon energy."