For the scores of businesses in Southern California already supplying desalination equipment around the globe, California’s impending water crisis spells opportunity.
Photo: Poseidon Resources
The state is running out of water. Is desalination a panacea or potential boondoggle?
California is in the process of building a series of massive ocean desalination plants on a scale not seen before in the United States. While most are at various stages, slowly slogging through bureaucratic red tape, conservationists are pushing back against powerful interests betting California’s looming water crisis occurs sooner rather than later.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is looking to restart a nuclear plant construction project in northern Alabama that stopped in 1988 due to decreased demand for electricity. Both the French state-owned company Areva and the Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) subsidiary in Canada have won contracts in the past two weeks to finish this Bellefonte Unit One reactor.
The project should cost $4.3 billion to $4.7 billion and the TVA board of directors already authorized $248 million in August. Areva got a contract for engineering and development work on the site. It will send its employees from Lynchburg and Charlotte, North Carolina, to perform the work. B&W will be in charge of building two steam generators in Canada. If TVA makes a final decision to resume construction, the generators will be delivered in 2015 so that the plant could start operating in 2018-2019.
At risk are the Columbia River, as well as the health and safety of people in southeast Washington State.
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