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Old 01-18-2010, 06:52 PM   #1
yllus
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Default Neat: Aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson to produce 200,000 gallons/day for Haitians

A little while ago we had a thread that discussed cutbacks to the U.S. Navy, including the retirement of currently active aircraft carriers. While that still remains an intelligent fiscal decision as far as many are concerned, it's interesting to see highlighted in the article below one of the ways that the military machine of the United States can provide aid and comfort when and where it's needed the most.

The Post-Quake Water Crisis: Getting Seawater to the Haitians

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Sitting off the coast of Haiti, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson can make some 400,000 gallons of its own fresh water every day, and much of it will soon be going ashore. The nuclear-powered vessel, which had been heading to its new home port in San Diego when it was diverted to Haiti hours after the quake, has massive desalination capacity — purifying the same ocean saltwater it traverses — and the Vinson has a daily excess of 200,000 gallons "that we can give away," says Cmdr. William McKinley, who oversees the desalination process.

Aircraft carriers have been desalinating ocean water since World War II, and in recent decades they've been giving their excess H2O away more frequently during humanitarian emergencies. But the 2004 Indonesian tsunami disaster, which killed more than 200,000 people and left much of the Indian Ocean coast a wasteland, tested desalinated water donation capabilities like never before.

One of the lessons aircraft carriers learned then, and during the Hurricane Katrina calamity a year later, was that they needed a better delivery medium if they wanted to make a difference during catastrophes of that magnitude.

As a result, early this week the Vinson will receive up to 100,000 special 2- and 5-gallon water "bladders," collapsible containers that will make transporting such enormous volumes of liquid more efficient. If the Vinson could actually move all 200,000 of its excess gallons to Haitian distribution points each day, it could as much as double the amount of water aid, which relief agencies and military helicopter pilots alike say is being used up faster than they can deliver it.

That in turn would allow donor governments and organizations to turn more of their efforts toward augmenting other critical necessities like food, medical supplies and, later on, more long-term help like building materials.

Desalination is essential for nuclear-powered vessels like the Vinson. Nuclear reactors heat the water that makes the steam that powers the ship — but that water has to be pure. Some ships use reverse osmosis technology, which pumps the saltwater under extremely high pressure through cleansing membranes. The Vinson employs a process that can boil the ocean water at lower temperatures and separate the brine.

The carrier has four such water distilleries that can each produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water a day for both steam power and the crew's daily needs. In recent years, water-scarce cities near seacoasts worldwide have begun duplicating the method as well.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:56 PM   #2
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That's pretty cool!

These poor bastards need all the fresh water they can get.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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That's awesome. Cool to see that the expensive military equipment needed to keep us safe from governments who wish to do us harm can also be used to do good for people in desperate need....
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #4
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Those are going to be some stinky sailors in a week, the only way to give away that much water is to ration it among the crew. But it is a stink for a good cause.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:15 PM   #5
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And all that 'free' water is brought to you by nuclear power. Imagine if we built more nuke plants here at home a lot of places like Kalifornia could pull less water from rivers and such.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #6
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And all that 'free' water is brought to you by nuclear power. Imagine if we built more nuke plants here at home a lot of places like Kalifornia could pull less water from rivers and such.
I've always wondered about that, why they don't build massive desalination plants on platforms out on the ocean and then pipe the water to the mainland. No more dependence on rivers etc for irrigation or drinking water etc. Seems like a good idea, but I'm sure there are problems with it or it would have been done already.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:25 PM   #7
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I've always wondered about that, why they don't build massive desalination plants on platforms out on the ocean and then pipe the water to the mainland. No more dependence on rivers etc for irrigation or drinking water etc. Seems like a good idea, but I'm sure there are problems with it or it would have been done already.
Probably NIMBY concerns.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Double Trouble View Post
I've always wondered about that, why they don't build massive desalination plants on platforms out on the ocean and then pipe the water to the mainland. No more dependence on rivers etc for irrigation or drinking water etc. Seems like a good idea, but I'm sure there are problems with it or it would have been done already.
I believe it would require massive amounts of power to meet the needs of California. It would probably be fantastically expensive to do so. Solar desalination would probably be cheaper per gallon, but even then $$$
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Double Trouble View Post
I've always wondered about that, why they don't build massive desalination plants on platforms out on the ocean and then pipe the water to the mainland. No more dependence on rivers etc for irrigation or drinking water etc. Seems like a good idea, but I'm sure there are problems with it or it would have been done already.
The main reasons we don't get more water out of rivers, etc is due to environmental concerns and desalination plants have their own environmental issues.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:51 PM   #10
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Fostering goodwill and stability is an important US military function, especially in today's "smart power" scenario. And this is just another demonstration that for all their power to destroy, military forces are uniquely suited to respond to such crises.

As a matter of fact, military forces worldwide have mobilized to respond to the earthquake. I know Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Spain, are sending aid and military personnel. I think Italy is sending a (their only?) carrier.

Kuddos to the Carl Vinson... good thread.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:53 PM   #11
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Good shit!
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:53 PM   #12
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Cool.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:55 PM   #13
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Those are going to be some stinky sailors in a week, the only way to give away that much water is to ration it among the crew. But it is a stink for a good cause.
They have four distilleries that produce 100,000 per day each. They state in the article a couple times it is excess water. Also, the Vinson doesn't need much steam power right now.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:05 PM   #14
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My company recently shipped some equipment to CVN-70.

Didn't some folks have a fit when an aircraft carrier was sent to help out with a certain tsunami?
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:10 PM   #15
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And all that 'free' water is brought to you by nuclear power. Imagine if we built more nuke plants here at home a lot of places like Kalifornia could pull less water from rivers and such.
You REALLY do not want to drink that crap they pour into the ocean near California.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:16 PM   #16
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Glad to see the excess water is being put to good use:thumbsup;

(typical conspiracy theorist)
But, did they taint the water with fluoride?

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Probably NIMBY concerns.
Anyone live near a desalination plant and could tell us how badly they impact the local environment? Hell, they could surround my city with nuclear plants for all I care. I already live within about a 40-minute drive of a nuclear weapons "factory." So, I am gone if one of those puppies goes off.

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You REALLY do not want to drink that crap they pour into the ocean near California.
If the ocean is so polluted near California, why not allow off-shore drilling?
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #17
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Desalination of water has always seemed to me like ultimate tech. Just think what it would do for poor African countries if water was cheap.

That our government can do it easily, and has done it since WWII, apparently, just pisses me off.

The same way that, of course, cheap, clean, Nuclear Power, delivers, desalinated water.

-John {laughing at the above poster that wants to desalinate water with solar energy}
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:19 PM   #18
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You REALLY do not want to drink that crap they pour into the ocean near California.
It's boiled water. Jaskalas. Do you think it is more than that?

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Old 01-18-2010, 09:28 PM   #19
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Ships with nuclear power plants that can fly jets off them. Most awesome machines ever.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:30 PM   #20
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I've always wondered about that, why they don't build massive desalination plants on platforms out on the ocean and then pipe the water to the mainland. No more dependence on rivers etc for irrigation or drinking water etc. Seems like a good idea, but I'm sure there are problems with it or it would have been done already.
If we do this in excessive amount it can result in environmental disaster to marine life. Too much sea water distillation results in higher salt contents in sea water which can adversely affect marine life.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:39 PM   #21
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It's always been too expensive/no one has been able to do it.

Nuclear Power allows it to be done, but, we all know America's acceptance of Nuclear Power. Meanwhile, the military, uses Nuclear Power (since day one), and reaps its benefits.

So, I am fine with stealing everything an ocean has to offer, killing bunches of fishes (does this remind you of anything?) for getting virtually unlimited, cheap, water.

-John

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Old 01-18-2010, 09:44 PM   #22
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What is this fuel source? Its clean, cheap, and plentiful? Nuclear Power? Blasphemy. Even if its good enough for the US military, it sure ain't good enough for US civilians!
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:46 PM   #23
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If we do this in excessive amount it can result in environmental disaster to marine life. Too much sea water distillation results in higher salt contents in sea water which can adversely affect marine life.
Nuclear Power plants use a relatively small amount of water, and re-use the water over and over again. It's the difference between cold water, and hot water that produces energy.

I'm sure that the loss of XYZ salt-water will be made up for by people pissing in the neighborhood pool.

-John
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:57 PM   #24
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Er, I should say, hot water produces energy... the bi-product is cold water.

If cold-water scares you...

Nothing heats water like Nuclear Energy plants. Not coal-fired fires (do you realize this is what people think is "clean" today?), not solar, not wind-farms, etc.

If you want to heat water, and derive energy (to do things like desalinate water) Nuclear Power is where it is at.

-John
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Trouble View Post
I've always wondered about that, why they don't build massive desalination plants on platforms out on the ocean and then pipe the water to the mainland. No more dependence on rivers etc for irrigation or drinking water etc. Seems like a good idea, but I'm sure there are problems with it or it would have been done already.
200,000 gallons is enough drinking water for 200,000+ people under a disaster scenario. For normal household usage, it is essentially nothing. Probably two orders of magnitude too little for a city the same size.
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