Not a new idea, but one sure to rile the conspiracy theorists and panic mongers:
Basic idea: drill down towards the magma chamber, pump cool water down; water sucks heat from magma and races back up the system as 600-degree steam, which is then used to turn turbines to generate electricity. Energy is created while the risk is reduced. So goes the theory.
The basic idea is reasonably sound. The biggest problem is simply the scale of the problem:the amount of heat in the magma chamber is *vast.* And the depths they’d need to drill are equally vast… on the order of ten kilometers (which is ha-ha-ha-no level of depth). The cost of the project is estimated at $3.46 billion…. peanuts, really, compared to FedGuv spending. The power generation potential is also vast, on the scale of 6 gigawatts of thermal energy. Thousands of years would be required to actually cool the magma chamber to where it’s safe.
And there are detractors…