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California Nuclear Plant Could Supply Fresh Water

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Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant

EIRNS—General Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant currently produces 675,000 gallons of fresh water per day from the Pacific Ocean for the operation of the plant’s two reactors and to provide drinking water for the employees. But GE field area manager, Terence East, reports that the plant limits the amount of desalted water because it doesn’t need any more. In fact, he says, it is licensed to produced 1.5 million gallons of fresh water per day. Running at full capacity, the plant could supply water to 7,600 of the residents of San Luis Obispo County.

For the next four months, the county’s Drought Task Force and plant operator Pacific Gas & Electric will study the feasibility of installing a pipeline from the plant to transfer water to the county. Since the desalination process is highly modular, additional components could be added easily to expand production, the experts state. A pipeline could be installed later this year.

Marsha Freeman