Providing potable water is a challenging problem of this century. Desalination of sea water is a feasible answer to this problem.
The combination of a nuclear power reactor with water desalination plant can most economically be utilized because the higher the temperature and pressure of steam used in a turbine, the lower the cost of electricity produced. For fractional distillation, on the other hand, steam at low temperature and pressure is needed and the greater part of input heat is the latent heat of steam. Therefore, the power production and desalination systems may be advantageously combined. To produce fixed amounts of electricity and water in a dual purpose plant can result in saving of about 40% in energy consumption should they be produced in two separate plants.
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