In this paper, we suggest the conceptual design of a water-cooled reactor system for a low-pressure inherent heat sink nuclear desalination plant (LIND) that applies the safety-related design concepts of high temperature gas-cooled reactors to a water-cooled reactor for inherent and passive safety features. Through a scoping analysis, we found that the current LIND design satisfied several essential thermal-hydraulic and neutronic design requirements. In a thermal-hydraulic analysis using an analytical method based on the Wooton-Epstein correlation, we checked the possibility of safely removing decay heat through the steel containment even if all the active safety systems failed. In a neutronic analysis using the Monte Carlo N-particle transport code, we estimated a cycle length of approximately 6 years under 200 MWth and 4.5% enrichment. The very long cycle length and simple safety features minimize the burdens from the operation, maintenance, and spent-fuel management, with a positive impact on the economic feasibility. Finally, because a nuclear reactor should not be directly coupled to a desalination system to prevent the leakage of radioactive material into the desalinated water, three types of intermediate systems were studied: a steam producing system, a hot water system, and an organic Rankine cycle system. Copyright (C) 2015, Published by Elsevier Korea LLC on behalf of Korean Nuclear Society.