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NASA Wants To Spend $3.46B To Keep Yellowstone Park From Blowing Up

Yellowstone Park.werner22brigitte/Pixabay

The Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and locals in the US. It’s also a dormant super volcano that has terrifying destructive potential if it erupts. While the chances of this happening over the next few years might be remote, NASA is not taking any chances. That’s why it wants to spend about $3.46 billion to turn it into a geothermal energy source.

The government space agency actually revealed these details after a BBC coverage of super volcanoes came out. Shortly after, NASA researchers, including Brian Wilcox, contacted the publication to share information regarding plans that they have to deal with the possibility of an eruption in Yellowstone. While the plan may be expensive, it does come with several advantages that might just convince politicians of its worth.

“Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,” Wilcox told the publication. “Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.”

NASA would basically drill into the lower sides of the volcano, which is outside the boundaries of the park, Futurism reports. From there, pipes would be inserted where water would be pumped into the volcano. The resulting steam would then create pressure, which is what will allow the researchers to harvest energy from the volcano. It basically removes the factor that would lead to an explosion.

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