Scientists at BARC Have Devised a Way to Make Sea Water Drinkable!

Scientists at BARC unleash a ‘sea’ of hope

Scientists from the renowned Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in India have devised a novel way of purifying up to 6.3 million liters of sea water a day and rendering it suitable for human consumption. In a country like India, where 13 of its states are currently suffering from a drought, this new technology spells hope and holds great promise.

The pilot plant set up at Kalpakkam in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu uses waste steam produced from nuclear reactors to purify the seawater and converts it into fresh potable water.


View of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) from seaside. Source : Wikimedia Commons

The purified water produced is currently being used at the Kudankulam nuclear reactor in Tamil Nadu. When tasted, the purified water tasted “like fresh water”, unlike the saline sea water from which it originated.

Similar plants have been set up in the country’s other states like Punjab, West Bengal and Rajasthan.

The Director of BARC, Dr. K.N Vyas also gave reporters some additional information regarding the strides his center was making in this arena. “BARC has developed several membranes by which, at a very small cost, groundwater contaminated by uranium or arsenic can be purified and made fit for drinking”, says Dr. Vyas. 

With the help of special filters and thin membranes, the nuclear scientists at BARC have also developed several other types of water purifiers that can be used in households. The target audience for this technology are the inhabitants of the currently drought-hit region of Marathwada in Maharastra, India.

Refinement and promotion of this venture could potentially ensure that a larger section of India’s  current population receives access to clean and safe drinking water.

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