Keywords: Japanese activities, nuclear desalination, seawater desalination, nuclear power plants, operation and maintenance experience, advanced seawater RO technology, innovative small reactor design, interests of society and industry
Present and future activities of nuclear desalination in Japan
Seawater desalination plants have been installed at several nuclear power plants in Japan in order to satisfy the regulations for nuclear plant installation. This has been done where there is a limited source of water due to the geological conditions. These desalination plants are being operated to ensure supplemental water by using thermal or electrical energy from the nuclear power plant. The desalination plant is not operated continuously during the year because the major function of the plant is to ensure the supply of supplemental water for the nuclear power plant. Regarding maintenance of the desalination plant, some piping was exchanged due to corrosion by high temperature seawater, however, the desalination plants are being operated without any trouble as of today. Recently, the development of innovative and/or small reactor designs, that emphasise safety features, has been promoted in Japan to use for seawater desalination and for installation in developing countries. An advanced RO system with lower energy consumption technology is also being developed. Furthermore, some Japanese industries and universities are now very interested in nuclear desalination.