Keywords: challenges, desalination, economics, water scarcity, future developments, IAEA member states activities, nuclear desalination, sustainability, water availability, freshwater production, atoms for peace, seawater desalination, nuclear power, nuclear energy, world water shortage, Vision 21, International Atomic Energy Agency
Status and prospects of nuclear desalination
Recent statistics show that currently 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed areas and among them 1.7 billion live in water-scarce areas. In the light of this, the Millennium Declaration by the UN General Assembly in 2000 has set up a target to halve, by the year 2015, the world population who are unable to reach, or to afford, safe drinking water. Better water conservation, water management, pollution control and water reclamation are all part of the solution to the projected water stress. So too are new sources of fresh water, including the desalination of seawater. Desalination technologies have been well established since the mid-20th century and are widely deployed in many parts of the world which have acute water scarcity problems.