Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category

Jun 5, 2023

AI should be licensed like medicines or nuclear power, Labour suggests

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nuclear energy, robotics/AI

Exclusive: party calls for developers without a licence to be barred from working on advanced AI tools.

Jun 3, 2023

Dr. Rita Baranwal, Ph.D. — Senior Vice President, Energy Systems, Westinghouse Electric Company

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, government, nuclear energy

Is Senior Vice President of the Energy Systems business unit of Westinghouse Electric Company, which is the nuclear power unit of.
Westinghouse, where her core focus is in leading the team developing and.
deploying their AP300 Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (…UL22.pdf).

Dr. Baranwal recently served Chief Technology Officer of the organization, where she led the company’s global research and development investments, spearheading their technology strategy to advance the company’s nuclear innovation, and drove next-generation solutions for existing and new markets.

Continue reading “Dr. Rita Baranwal, Ph.D. — Senior Vice President, Energy Systems, Westinghouse Electric Company” »

Jun 1, 2023

Ex-SpaceX engineers bring Mars colony tech to Earth

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

Inspired by Mars colonization, engineers aim to replace diesel generators with nuclear microreactors.

May 31, 2023

Advancing fusion energy: Researchers achieve record-breaking temperatures in a tokamak

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

They managed to achieve temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius. That is hotter than the sun’s core temperature!

Nuclear fusion reactions generate large amounts of energy. An example of nuclear fusion is the reactions happening in the sun’s core. Harnessing fusion energy has long been a goal of scientists and researchers as it produces no greenhouse gas emissions or long-lived radioactive waste.

However, there are several bottlenecks to producing fusion energy, such as the requirement of high temperatures and pressures, plasma instability, cost, scalability, and finding energy balance.

May 30, 2023

US urged not to use bomb-grade uranium in nuclear power experiment

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy, sustainability

WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) — Former U.S. State Department and nuclear regulatory officials on Tuesday urged the U.S. Energy Department to reconsider a plan to use bomb-grade uranium in a nuclear power experiment, saying that its use could encourage such tests in other countries.

The Energy Department and two companies aim to share costs on the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE) at the Idaho National Laboratory and use more than 1,322 pounds (600 kg) of fuel containing 93% enriched uranium.

Bill Gates-backed company TerraPower LLC, the utility Southern Co (SO.N) and the department hope the six-month experiment will lead to breakthroughs in reactors that could help reduce pollution linked to climate change.

May 19, 2023

Demystifying vortex rings in nuclear fusion and supernovae

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy, physics, space

Better understanding the formation of swirling, ring-shaped disturbances—known as vortex rings—could help nuclear fusion researchers compress fuel more efficiently, bringing it closer to becoming a viable energy source.

The model developed by researchers at the University of Michigan could aid in the design of the capsule, minimizing the energy lost while trying to ignite the reaction that makes stars shine. In addition, the model could help other engineers who must manage the mixing of fluids after a shock wave passes through, such as those designing supersonic jet engines, as well as physicists trying to understand supernovae.

“These move outward from the collapsing star, populating the universe with the materials that will eventually become nebulae, planets and even new stars—and inward during fusion implosions, disrupting the stability of the burning fusion fuel and reducing the efficiency of the reaction,” said Michael Wadas, a doctoral candidate in at U-M and corresponding author of the study.

May 18, 2023

The First-to-Fusion Power Wars Are On

Posted by in categories: military, nuclear energy

This device is a pulse magneto-fusion power system whose successors could produce electricity from the first commercial fusion reactor as early as 2028.

Creating a continuously controlled fusion reaction and not a thermonuclear bomb requires a confined environment where high densities and high temperatures can turn hydrogen gas into plasma. The luxury the Sun enjoys as a big ball of hydrogen comes from its enormous size and immense gravitational forces which serve to confine the ongoing nuclear fusion within it. But here on Earth, we need powerful magnets to replace the gravity confinement that the Sun provides. And it was thought until recently that our confinement efforts to create dense plasma faced a speed limit barrier that caused the field to break. We now know that what was called the Greenwald Limit no longer exists after experiments done at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. So now the conditions to generate positive energy yields from controlled fusion means we are getting close to the first fusion reactors.

Enter Helion Energy and Pulse Fusion

Continue reading “The First-to-Fusion Power Wars Are On” »

May 17, 2023

Microsoft Has Vowed to Achieve Nuclear Fusion Within Five Years

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

It’s a bold move. Let’s see if it works out.

May 14, 2023

New material facilitates search for room-temperature superconductivity

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, nuclear energy, physics, transportation

Scientists from Jilin University, the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research, and Skoltech have synthesized lanthanum-cerium polyhydride, a material that promises to facilitate studies of near-room-temperature superconductivity. It offers a compromise between the polyhydrides of lanthanum and cerium in terms of how much cooling and pressure it requires. This enables easier experiments, which might one day lead scientists to compounds that conduct electricity with zero resistance at ambient conditions—an engineering dream many years in the making. The study was published in Nature Communications.

One of the most intriguing unsolved questions in modern physics is: Can we make a material that conducts electricity with zero resistance (superconducts) at and ? Such a superconductor would enable power grids with unprecedented efficiency, ultrafast microchips, and electromagnets so powerful they could levitate trains or control fusion reactors.

In their search, scientists are probing multiple classes of materials, slowly nudging up the temperature they superconduct at and decreasing the they require to remain stable. One such group of materials is polyhydrides—compounds with extremely high hydrogen content. At −23°C, the current champion for is a lanthanum polyhydride with the formula LaH10. The trade-off: It requires the pressure of 1.5 million atmospheres. At the opposite end of the spectrum, cuprates are a class of materials that superconduct under normal atmospheric pressure but require —no more than −140°.

May 14, 2023

Characterizing Clusters in Nuclear Collisions

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

When two helium-4 (4He) nuclei smash together, they form a beryllium-8 nucleus. A third 4 He striking this nucleus may result in an excited form of carbon-12 (12 C), with the 4 He particles arranging in a neat cluster. Clustering of neutrons and protons during high-energy collisions is known to determine the stability of the collision products. But how clustering affects the dynamics and reaction outcomes of high-energy collisions remains an open question. Now Catalin Frosin of the University of Florence, Italy, and his colleagues report experimental data that detail how reaction products form during this kind of collision [1]. The results support models that suggest increased collision energy can drive clustering activity and result in emission of lighter, more energetic particles.

The experiments entail bombarding 12 C targets with pulsed beams of sulfur-32 and neon-20. Frosin and his colleagues characterized the resulting fragments using FAZIA, a detector designed to probe charged particles around the Fermi energy. Meanwhile, the team ran simulations, with and without cluster correlations, to predict the nucleon interactions and the decays of unstable products. Models with clustering produced particles that are more energetic—in agreement with the experimental data. The researchers attributed this effect to energy and momentum conservation in the nucleon–nucleon and nucleon–cluster collisions during the early, dynamic phase of the interaction.

The findings demonstrate FAZIA’s capability to extract precise information about the properties of nuclear fragments. The researchers say that similar experiments performed elsewhere looked only at carbon+carbon reactions. Extending them to heavier reactants provides a wider arena for interpreting fragmentation mechanisms.

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