Power and Water Problems Loom for Florida as Oil Threat Lurks Off Shore

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Informed emergency planning sources in Florida have informed WMR that the state faces severe fresh water shortages and power blackouts if the thick crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster clogs sea water intakes at the largest seawater desalinisation plant in the United States — the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalinisation Plant at Apollo Beach in Tampa, Florida.

The plant, which uses seawater reverse osmosis to turn seawater into 16 to 19 million gallons of drinking water daily for residents of the Tampa Bay area, faces the threat of filtration membranes becoming clogged if oil from the Gulf of Mexico enters its intake pipes. Such an event would render the plant unable to process seawater, resulting in a major fresh water shortage for the Tampa Bay.

Similarly, oil clogging the water cooling intakes at the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant on the Gulf of Mexico coast, some 80 miles north of Tampa, could force the shutdown of the Unit 3 pressurized water nuclear reactor. Such an event would result in power shutdowns in the Florida areas served by the power plant.

The Obama administration has taken a page from the government of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Chernobyl in censoring the bad news from the Gulf oil mega-disaster. The Chernobyl cover-up largely resulted in the hastening of glasnost and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report(subscription required).  

Articles by: Wayne Madsen

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