Alternative nuclear reactors can be built to use molten salt in place of water cooling and heat transfer.
Production of electrical power results in one of the largest uses of water in the United States and worldwide. Water for thermoelectric power is used in generating electricity with steam-driven turbine generators. In 2000, about 195,000 million gallons of water each day (Mgal/d) were used to produce electricity (excluding hydroelectric power). Surface water was the source for more than 99 percent of total thermoelectric-power withdrawals. In coastal areas, the use of saline water instead of freshwater expands the overall available water supply. Saline withdrawals from surface water sources accounted for 96 percent of the National total saline withdrawals. Thermoelectric-power withdrawals accounted for 48 percent of total water use, 39 percent of total freshwater withdrawals for all categories, and 52 percent of fresh surface-water withdrawals.