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Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 8

Jul 25, 2020

Mould from Chernobyl nuclear reactor tested as radiation shield on ISS

Posted by in categories: health, nuclear energy, space

A radiation-absorbing fungus found at the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear reactor has been shown to absorb harmful cosmic rays on the International Space Station, and could potentially be used to protect future Mars colonies.

Exposure to cosmic rays poses a major health risk to astronauts leaving Earth’s protective atmosphere. Shields can be made out of stainless steel and other materials, but they must be shipped from Earth, which is difficult and costly.

Jul 24, 2020

Pivot to ‘green’: Russian gas & nuclear energy giants Gazprom and Rosatom to start producing ‘clean’ hydrogen

Posted by in categories: economics, government, nuclear energy

With much of the world planning to pivot away from oil and gas in the near future, the country’s government is looking ahead to a more diversified energy sector. The international ‘green’ trend is a significant threat to the Russian economy, which is at present largely dependent on the export of oil, gas, and coal. Starting from 2021, the government intends to build on the country’s reputation as a hydrogen supplier, aiming to make exports of the world’s most abundant gas a large part of its energy sector.

Jul 24, 2020

U.S. Eyes Building Nuclear Power Plants on Mars, the Moon

Posted by in categories: government, nuclear energy, space travel

“Small nuclear reactors can provide the power capability necessary for space exploration missions of interest to the Federal government,” the Energy Department wrote in the notice published Friday.

The Energy Department, NASA and Battelle Energy Alliance, the U.S. contractor that manages the Idaho National Laboratory, plan to hold a government-industry webcast technical meeting in August concerning expectations for the program.

The plan has two phases. The first is developing a reactor design. The second is building a test reactor, a second reactor be sent to the moon, and developing a flight system and lander that can transport the reactor to the moon. The goal is to have a reactor, flight system and lander ready to go by the end of 2026.

Jul 24, 2020

Using Nuclear Fusion to Help Fuel the World

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, nuclear energy

This article is the first in a series of installments examining the potential of different energy initiatives and types.

If you’re reading this article, chances are, you’re living in a first-world country. You probably have access to modern technology, whether it be your cell phone, laptop, or even central heating system.

Jul 24, 2020

US Eyes Building Nuclear Power Plants for Moon and Mars

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. wants to build nuclear power plants that will work on the moon and Mars, and on Friday put out a request for ideas from the private sector on how to do that.

The U.S. Department of Energy put out the formal request to build what it calls a fission surface power system that could allow humans to live for long periods in harsh space environments.

The Idaho National Laboratory, a nuclear research facility in eastern Idaho, the Energy Department and NASA will evaluate the ideas for developing the reactor.

Continue reading “US Eyes Building Nuclear Power Plants for Moon and Mars” »

Jul 22, 2020

How Extremophile Bacteria Living In Nuclear Reactors Might Help Us Make Vaccines

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nuclear energy

Extremophiles like the bacterium D. radiodurans that can withstand levels of radiation thousands of times what most animals can, are able to help us make vaccines faster, cheaper and safer. They use special molecular protectors to shield their repair proteins but not their DNA or RNA.

Jul 18, 2020

A cheaper, faster way to nuclear fusion

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

This is the third in a series. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

One of the most notable features of Eric Lerner’s approach to fusion using the Dense Plasma Focus (DPF), presented in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, lies in the possibility of using hydrogen and boron as a fuel. This property is shared by the hydrogen-boron laser fusion reactor, which I discussed in a previous series of articles in Asia Times.

Among other things, the fusion reaction between nuclei of hydrogen and boron is aneutronic: no neutrons are produced, but only charged alpha particles. This gives the DPF enormous potential advantages over the mainline fusion technologies, which are all designed to employ a mixture of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium (D) and tritium (T) as their fuel.

Jul 16, 2020

The Sun Only Shines Because Of Quantum Physics

Posted by in categories: alien life, nuclear energy, quantum physics

Earth, as we know it, is only teeming with life because of the influence of our Sun. Its light and heat provides every square meter of Earth — when it’s in direct sunlight — with a constant ~1500 W of power, enough to keep our planet at a comfortable temperature for liquid water to continuously exist on its surface. Just like the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy amidst the trillions of galaxies in the Universe, our Sun shines continuously, varying only slightly over time.

But without quantum physics, the Sun wouldn’t shine at all. Even in the extreme conditions found in the core of a massive star like our Sun, the nuclear reactions that power it could not occur without the bizarre properties that our quantum Universe demands. Thankfully, our Universe is quantum in nature, enabling the Sun and all the other stars to shine as they do. Here’s the science of how it works.

Jul 15, 2020

Twisting magnetic fields for extreme plasma compression

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics, quantum physics, space

A new spin on the magnetic compression of plasmas could improve materials science, nuclear fusion research, X-ray generation and laboratory astrophysics, research led by the University of Michigan suggests.

The study shows that a spring-shaped magnetic field reduces the amount of plasma that slips out between the .

Known as the fourth state of matter, plasma is a gas so hot that electrons rip free of their atoms. Researchers use magnetic compression to study extreme plasma states in which the density is high enough for quantum mechanical effects to become important. Such states occur naturally inside stars and gas giant planets due to compression from gravity.

Jul 13, 2020

Nuclear fission

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

Is a process in nuclear physics in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller nuclei as fission products, and usually some by-product particles. Hence, fission is a form of elemental transmutation. The by-products include free neutrons, photons usually in the form gamma rays, and other nuclear fragments such as beta particles and alpha particles. Fission of heavy elements is an exothermic reaction and can release substantial amounts of useful energy both as gamma rays and as kinetic energy of the fragments (heating the bulk material where fission takes place). Nuclear fission produces energy for nuclear power and to drive explosion of nuclear weapons.

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