Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 23

Aug 16, 2022

Wind, solar provide 67% of new US electrical generating capacity in first half of 2022

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Clean energy accounted for more than two-thirds of the new US electrical generating capacity added during the first six months of 2022, according to data recently released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Wind (5,722 megawatts) and solar (3,895 MW) provided 67.01% of the 14,352 MW in utility-scale (that is, greater than 1 MW) capacity that came online during the first half of 2022.

Additional capacity was provided by geothermal (26 MW), hydropower (7 MW), and biomass (2 MW). The balance came from natural gas (4,695 MW) and oil (5 MW). No new capacity was reported for 2022 from either nuclear power or coal.

Aug 16, 2022

Small nuclear reactors finally get the nod from regulators, but they still have a lot to prove

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

The new technology comes at a time when nuclear’s contribution to the overall energy sector is fading.

Aug 16, 2022

National Ignition Facility Confirmed Successful First Case of Nuclear Fusion Power in the Lab After It Released a Large Amount of Energy

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Scientists achieved the first case of nuclear fusion ignition in a lab. The milestone would help them improve the source of generating electricity and energy. Continue reading to know more.

Aug 16, 2022

US Regulators to Certify First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Design

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, nuclear energy, sustainability

View insights.

Since 2016, engineering firm NuScale has been working toward getting approval for a first-of-its-kind nuclear reactor, and late last week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) gave it the green light. The company’s pint-sized nuclear reactor has numerous safety benefits over larger reactors, and the small size makes it possible to build them at a centralized facility before shipping them to their final destination.

Nuclear power seems to flip between savior and boogeyman every few years. As climate change escalates due to the use of fossil fuels, nuclear is seen as a way to reduce carbon emissions while maintaining high electricity generation. However, all it takes is one accident like Fukushima or a reminder that Chernobyl is still incredibly dangerous decades later to make people second-guess the construction of new fission generators.

Continue reading “US Regulators to Certify First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Design” »

Aug 15, 2022

Bill Gates’ company TerraPower raises $750 million for nuclear energy and medicine innovation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nuclear energy

TerraPower, the nuclear innovation company founded by Bill Gates, announced a $750 million funding raise co-led by Gates himself and SK Group from South Korea.

Aug 14, 2022

Meet ‘Copernicus’: TAE’s planned billion-degree, hydrogen-boron nuclear fusion reactor

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, nuclear energy, sustainability

TAE’s latest backers include the likes of Google and Chevron

TAE has earned the backing of forward-thinking investors and, so far, has raised a total of $1.2 billion for its commercial fusion development thanks to a track record of exceeding milestones and performance capability. TAE’s mission is to provide a long-term solution to the world’s rapidly increasing electricity demand while ensuring global energy independence and security.

To that end, the company recently closed its Series G-2 financing round, in which it secured $250 million from investors in the energy, technology, and engineering sectors. By avoiding carbon and particulate emissions, TAE’s safe, non-radioactive method minimizes any negative effects on the environment or the effects of climate change.

Aug 12, 2022

Nuclear fusion breakthrough confirmed: California team achieved ignition

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

If we could harness fusion to generate electricity, it would be one of the most efficient and least polluting sources of energy possible.

A major breakthrough in nuclear fusion has been confirmed a year after it was achieved at a laboratory in California.

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) recorded the first case of ignition on August 8, 2021, the results of which have now been published in three peer-reviewed papers.

Continue reading “Nuclear fusion breakthrough confirmed: California team achieved ignition” »

Aug 11, 2022

How artificial intelligence could lower nuclear energy costs

Posted by in categories: economics, nuclear energy, robotics/AI

Nuclear power plants provide large amounts of electricity without releasing planet-warming pollution. But the expense of running these plants has made it difficult for them to stay open. If nuclear is to play a role in the U.S. clean energy economy, costs must come down. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are devising systems that could make nuclear energy more competitive using artificial intelligence.

Nuclear power plants are expensive in part because they demand constant monitoring and maintenance to ensure consistent power flow and safety. Argonne is midway through a $1 million, three-year project to explore how smart, computerized systems could change the economics.

“Operation and maintenance costs are quite relevant for nuclear units, which currently require large site crews and extensive upkeep,” said Roberto Ponciroli, a principal nuclear engineer at Argonne. “We think that autonomous operation can help to improve their profitability and also benefit the deployment of advanced reactor concepts.”

Aug 10, 2022

Could Hydrogen Help Save Nuclear?

Posted by in categories: economics, nuclear energy

A lack of market value and historically low natural gas prices are just some of the reasons making it hard for nuclear to compete in certain markets.

And with the rise of more renewables coming onto the grid, many utilities are considering a hybrid or integrated systems approach to improve the economics for baseload energy sources like nuclear reactors.

One opportunity is to utilize nuclear’s thermal heat and electricity to produce hydrogen.

Aug 9, 2022

Nuclear power’s biggest problem could have a small solution

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

For decades, if you asked a fusion scientist to picture a fusion reactor, they’d probably tell you about a tokamak. It’s a chamber about the size of a large room, shaped like a hollow doughnut. Physicists fill its insides with a not-so-tasty jam of superheated plasma. Then they surround it with magnets in the hopes of crushing atoms together to create energy, just as the sun does.

But experts think you can make tokamaks in other shapes. Some believe that making tokamaks smaller and leaner could make them better at handling plasma. If the fusion scientists proposing it are right, then it could be a long-awaited upgrade for nuclear energy. Thanks to recent research and a newly proposed reactor project, the field is seriously thinking about generating electricity with a “spherical tokamak.”

“The indication from experiments up to now is that [spherical tokamaks] may, pound for pound, confine plasmas better and therefore make better fusion reactors,” says Steven Cowley, director of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

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