How NASA plans to stop an eruption in Yellowstone National Park

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NASA plans to stop the Yellowstone caldera from erupting by pumping it full of water and siphoning geothermal energy from it.

According to the BBC, the space agency has developed a plan to drill underneath Yellowstone and pump it's magma chamber full of water, extracting the heat. Cooling the magma rock would occur at a rate of 1 meter per year, meaning it could take thousands of years to eliminate the risk of eruption.

The cost of NASA's plan is estimated to be US$3.5 billion, the BBC reports. The space agency expects the clean energy derived from heat extraction would offset this via lower power costs and the creation of geothermal plants in the area.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of eruption at Yellowstone National Park
2. Map of ashfall zones across the USA, plus number of days before global food supplies dwindle
3. Depiction of NASA's plan to drill the base of the magma chamber
4. Geothermal energy plant in Yellowstone National Park.

VOICEOVER (in English):
"A volcanic eruption at Yellowstone National Park would be an American natural disaster on a scale that the country has never seen."

"The event would potentially see millions of casualties and wipe out the west coast, with it's ashfall stretching far beyond U.S. borders."

"This would cause a volcanic winter, during which widespread starvation would be a threat.

"According to UN estimates, global food reserves could last only 74 days."

"To pre-empt such a catastrophe, NASA has developed a plan to drill underneath Yellowstone and pump it's magma chamber full of water, extracting the heat."

"Cooling the magma rock would occur at a rate of 1 meter per year, meaning it could take thousands of years to eliminate the risk of eruption."

"The cost of NASA's plan is estimated to be US$3.5 billion, however, the space agency expects the clean energy derived from heat extraction would offset this via lower power costs and the creation of geothermal plants"


SOURCES: BBC, Inhabitat, Live Science, University of Utah, The Guardian
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170817-nasas-ambitious-plan-to-save-earth-from-a-supervolcano
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170724-would-a-supervolcano-eruption-wipe-us-out
http://inhabitat.com/nasa-considers-puncturing-yellowstone-supervolcano-to-save-life-on-earth/
https://www.livescience.com/20714-yellowstone-supervolcano-eruption.html
https://archive.unews.utah.edu/news_releases/scientists-see-deeper-yellowstone-magma/
https://vimeo.com/125823038
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/oct/14/un-global-food-crisis-warning