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Aug 28, 2020

Tungsten isotope helps study how to armor future fusion reactors

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

The inside of future nuclear fusion energy reactors will be among the harshest environments ever produced on Earth. What’s strong enough to protect the inside of a fusion reactor from plasma-produced heat fluxes akin to space shuttles reentering Earth’s atmosphere?

Aug 26, 2020

Vanadium-base alloys for fusion reactor applications — a review☆

Posted by in categories: materials, nuclear energy

Vanadium could be used for outer hulls of spaceships to absorb sun like energy or higher.

Vanadium-base alloys offer potentially significant advantages over other candidate alloys as a structural material for fusion reactor first wall/blanket applications. Although the data base is more limited than that for the other leading candidate structural materials, viz., austenitic and ferritic steels, vanadium-base alloys exhibit several properties that make them particularly attractive for the fusion reactor environment. This paper presents a review of the structural material requirements, a summary of the materials data base for selected vanadium-base alloys with emphasis on the V-15Cr-5Ti alloy, and a comparison of projected performance characteristics compared to other candidate alloys. Also, critical research and development (R&D) needs are defined.

The relatively high thermal conductivity and low thermal expansion coefficient of vanadium-base alloys, which result in lower thermal stresses for a given heat flux compared to most other candidate alloys, should enhance the reactor wall-load and lifetime capability. Since the mechanical strength of vanadium-base alloys is retained at relatively high temperatures, higher operating temperatures are projected for these alloys than for austenitic or ferritic steels. The refractory metals, including vanadium, characteristically exhibit good corrosion resistance in purified liquid metals. The vanadium alloys also exhibit favorable neutronic properties which include lower parasitic neutron absorption leading to better tritium breeding performance, lower bulk nuclear heating rates, and lower helium generation rates compared to the steels.

Aug 26, 2020

Self-charging, thousand-year battery startup NDB aces key tests and lands first beta customers

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

Pleasanton-based green energy startup NDB, Inc. has reached a key milestone today with the completion of two proof of concept tests of its nano diamond battery (NDB). One of these tests took place at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the other at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University, and both saw NDB’s battery tech manage a 40% charge, which is a big improvement over the 15% charge collection efficiency (effectively energy lossiness relative to maximum total possible charge) of standard commercial diamond.

NDB’s innovation is in creating a new, proprietary nano diamond treatment that allows for more efficient extraction of electric charge from the diamond used in the creation of the battery. Their goal is to ultimately commercialize a version of their battery that can self-charge for up to a maximum lifespan of 28,000 years, created from artificial diamond-encased carbon-14 nuclear waste.

This battery doesn’t generate any carbon emissions in operation, and only requires access to open air to work. And while they’re technically batteries, because they contain a charge which will eventually be expended, they provide their own charge for much longer than the lifetime of any specific device or individual user, making them effectively a charge-free solution.

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Aug 25, 2020

Nano-diamond self-charging batteries could disrupt energy as we know it

Posted by in categories: information science, nanotechnology, nuclear energy, particle physics, sustainability, transportation

California company NDB says its nano-diamond batteries will absolutely upend the energy equation, acting like tiny nuclear generators. They will blow any energy density comparison out of the water, lasting anywhere from a decade to 28,000 years without ever needing a charge. They will offer higher power density than lithium-ion. They will be nigh-on indestructible and totally safe in an electric car crash. And in some applications, like electric cars, they stand to be considerably cheaper than current lithium-ion packs despite their huge advantages.

The heart of each cell is a small piece of recycled nuclear waste. NDB uses graphite nuclear reactor parts that have absorbed radiation from nuclear fuel rods and have themselves become radioactive. Untreated, it’s high-grade nuclear waste: dangerous, difficult and expensive to store, with a very long half-life.

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Aug 24, 2020

(Em)powering world peace and prosperity using astroelectricity

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy, solar power, space, sustainability

Mike Snead, P.E., president of the Spacefaring Institute, was invited to present at the Envision Humanity conference held in Portugal on 18 July 2020. This presentation was delivered via video. It addresses the world green energy needed to “globally reset” human civilization using astroelectricity (GEO space-based solar power) to achieve sustainable, prosperous living worldwide. The presentation also shows why the “Green New Deal’s” call to use terrestrial nuclear and renewable energy to replace fossil carbon fuels is not a practical solution. The presentation provides an interesting way to understand the magnitude of the engineering challenge and options available to complete this important transition to sustainable energy.

Aug 21, 2020

Mounting Climate Impacts Threaten U.S. Nuclear Reactors

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy, sustainability

Soaring temperatures, intensified flood risks and heightened water stress will threaten 57 U.S. nuclear plants over the next 20 years, forcing operators to take additional resiliency measures, according to a new report.

“The consequences of climate change can affect every aspect of nuclear plant operations—from fuel handling and power and steam generation to maintenance, safety systems and waste processing,” said the analysis, which was published yesterday by Moody’s Investors Service.

Aug 16, 2020

Female Astrophysicist Helped Build 1st Atomic Bomb

Posted by in categories: cosmology, military, nuclear energy, physics

Female #Astrophysicist Helped Build 1st #AtomicBomb

Today marks 75 years since the 1st use of #nuclear weapons in #war-time, when the #US dropped the 1st atomic bomb on #Hiroshima, #Japan. One of the very few female #scientists who worked on the #ManhattanProject went on to become a researcher in high-energy #physics, #astrophysics, #cosmology, & diatomic molecular #spectroscopy.

MORE INFO: CLICK ON #IMAGE OR LINK

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Aug 13, 2020

Scientists propose method for eliminating damaging heat bursts in fusion device

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Researchers discover a technique for widening the windows of plasma current to enhance suppression of edge localized modes (ELMs) that can damage tokamak facilities.

Aug 13, 2020

Assembly of the World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Reactor Begins

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

On July 27, the assembly of the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor began in France. It is known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor or ITER. The ITER project is a joint effort by countries such as Japan, India, the European Union, the United States, Russia, China, and South Korea. The project was launched in 2006, has a five-year assembly phase, and plans to reach its maximum power output by 2035.

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Aug 11, 2020

Chernobyl Fungus Eats Nuclear Radiation Via Radiosynthesis

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nuclear energy, space

The earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protect humans from harmful radiation. However, it is a known fact that astronauts are exposed to radiation levels that are 20-fold higher than those found on planet earth. NASA recently did an experiment on the International Space Station after realizing that a fungus growing near the Chernobyl site was thriving on nuclear radiation because of radiosynthesis. The fungus was using melanin to convert gamma radiation into chemical energy. Therefore, space scientists grew the fungus inside the ISS for a month and analyzed its ability to block radiation.

The experiment showed that the Chernobyl fungus, now identified as “Cladosporium sphaerospermum,” was able to block some of the incoming radiation. This finding has implications for future space missions. Scientists are thinking of shielding astronauts and space objects with a layer of this radiation-absorbing protective fungus. Meanwhile, let’s await further updates from NASA. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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