Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category

Jun 24, 2016

Gun Fusion: Two barrels to the stars

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

To start a fusion reaction, you have to create extreme conditions. A combination of stellar temperatures, incredible pressures and lightning-quick energy dumps have all been tried to create these conditions, with varying degrees of success.

In this post, we’ll look at a low-cost, low-energy method of achieving nuclear fusion. It’s not Cold Fusion, it’s Gun Fusion.

Understanding what’s difficult

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Jun 17, 2016

Scientists seek new physics using ORNL’s intense neutrino source

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Congrats to David Dean fellow Oak Ridge researcher and leader in ORNL’s efforts on this impressive research.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June XX, 2016—Soon to be deployed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an experiment to explore new physics associated with neutrinos. The Precision Oscillation and Spectrum Experiment, or PROSPECT, is led by Yale University and includes partners from 14 academic and governmental institutions. The DOE High Energy Physics program will support the experiment at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL. The neutrino, the subject of a 2015 Nobel Prize, remains a poorly understood fundamental particle of the Standard Model of particle physics.

These electrically neutral subatomic particles are made in stars and nuclear reactors as a byproduct of radioactive decay processes. They interact with other matter via the weak force, making their detection difficult. As a result of this elusiveness, neutrinos are the subject of many interesting and challenging detection experiments, including PROSPECT.

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Jun 6, 2016

Brazil and Russia discuss nuclear partnerships

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

While everyone else is snoozing; Russia is definitely protecting it’s energy interests.

Coontrol center at the generation 3+ nuclear plant in Novovoronezh, regarded as the world’s most advanced of its kindFlávia Villela/Agência Brasil.

May 28, 2016

Win-win cooperation lifts China-Russia energy partnership to new high

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, sustainability

Energy partnerships certainly do make strange bed fellows/.

MOSCOW, May 28 — Energy cooperation between China and Russia, featuring mutually beneficial cooperation in oil, natural gas, electricity, coal as well as nuclear and renewable energy, has been ever growing and has reached a new high.

May 13, 2016

NASA satellites find trigger for magnetic explosions near Earth for first time

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, satellites

Explosive storms spawned by interactions between the magnetic fields of Earth and the sun can endanger satellites, spacecraft and astronauts in space, as well as power grids on Earth. Now, a fleet of NASA spacecraft has for the first time directly witnessed the mysterious way in which these magnetic explosions occur.

This work could help shed light on dangerous solar outbursts and help improve the design of advanced nuclear reactors, researchers said. The discovery was made using NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (or MMS for short), which launched four spacecraft into Earth’s magnetosphere, the bubble of plasma controlled by the planet’s magnetic field.

SEE ALSO: Satellite quartet: NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission in pictures.

Apr 27, 2016

Biology May Hold Key to Better Computer Memory

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, engineering, nuclear energy, sustainability

Of course bio technology holds the key for better memory.

Newswise — A group of Boise State researchers, led by associate professor of materials science and engineering and associate dean of the College of Innovation and Design Will Hughes, is working toward a better way to store digital information using nucleic acid memory (NAM).

It’s no secret that as a society we generate vast amounts of data each year. So much so that the 30 billion watts of electricity used annually by server farms today is roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants.

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Apr 21, 2016

What Should the World Do With Its Nuclear Weapons? — By Joseph Cirincione | The Atlantic

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, governance, government, nuclear, nuclear energy, policy, weapons


“At the possible brink of a new nuclear arms race, questions answered during the Cold War will need to be reopened.”

Read more

Apr 15, 2016

SLAC researchers recreate the extreme universe in the lab

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

Conditions in the vast universe can be quite extreme: Violent collisions scar the surfaces of planets. Nuclear reactions in bright stars generate tremendous amounts of energy. Gigantic explosions catapult matter far out into space. But how exactly do processes like these unfold? What do they tell us about the universe? And could their power be harnessed for the benefit of humankind?

To find out, researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory perform sophisticated experiments and computer simulations that recreate violent cosmic conditions on a small scale in the lab.

“The field of is growing very rapidly, fueled by a number of technological breakthroughs,” says Siegfried Glenzer, head of SLAC’s High Energy Density Science Division. “We now have high-power lasers to create extreme states of matter, cutting-edge X-ray sources to analyze these states at the atomic level, and high-performance supercomputers to run complex simulations that guide and help explain our experiments. With its outstanding capabilities in these areas, SLAC is a particularly fertile ground for this type of research.”

Apr 5, 2016

Federal legislation to jumpstart space solar power

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, food, government, law, nuclear energy, security, solar power, space, sustainability

The United States is transitioning from a primary reliance on fossil fuels to greater use of sustainable natural and nuclear energy sources. There are two reasons for this transition. The first reason is that the abnormally high and increasing level of atmospheric carbon dioxide has created scientific uncertainty and concern as to the detrimental impact this may have on the environment and, consequentially, human civilization. Almost certainly, this abnormal level is due to anthropogenic causes linked to the tremendous expansion in the human population since the early 1700s, the growth of human civilization (e.g., agriculture and industrialization), and the increasing use of fossil fuels. Although fossil fuels have enabled worldwide progress in elevating the standard of living, most of the world’s nations have reached the conclusion that the world should transition entirely to sustainable energy by 2100 (see “The Paris climate agreement and space solar power”, The Space Review, February 29, 2016). It is, however, very important to manage this transition carefully to avoid economic hardship or energy deprivation.

While the United States has large remaining fossil fuel resources, only some are technically recoverable with current safe, legal, and profitable extraction methods. The remaining known and yet-to-be-discovered domestic technically recoverable fossil fuels are inadequate to sustain US fossil fuel energy needs to the end of this century, especially given likely continued immigration-driven US population growth (see “US fossil fuel energy insecurity and space solar power”, The Space Review, March 7, 2016). While the United States has an ethical environmental obligation to end its use of fossil fuels by the end of the century, the reality of having inadequate oil and natural gas resources makes the urgency of transitioning successfully to new sustainable energy sources a clear matter of national energy security. This warrants federal government leadership and strong American private sector engagement.

Unfortunately, due to its large and growing population and per capita energy needs, the United States lacks sufficient suitable land to utilize terrestrial renewable energy to replace fossil fuels. (see “US terrestrial non-fossil fuel energy vs. space solar power”, The Space Review, March 14, 2016). While the United States will utilize terrestrial domestic renewable energy to the extent it is politically acceptable, many factors will likely limit their scale-up. The expansion of nuclear fission energy is also not a satisfactory approach, given the large number of reactors needed. These factors lead to the conclusion that only space-based sustainable energy, such as space solar power, will enable the United States to practically transition away from fossil fuels.

Mar 28, 2016

Scientists Made a New Metal, and it Makes Nuclear Reactors Even Stronger

Posted by in categories: materials, nuclear energy

An international team of researchers has developed a new type of metal alloy that could make nuclear reactors safer and more stable in the long term. The new material is stronger and lasts longer than steel.

Scientists have developed a new kind of high quality metal alloy that is suitable to use in building nuclear reactors. While it might not be a metal that has been invented entirely from scratch, it’s only recently that we have been able to produce this kind (this quality) of metal. And it could mean great things for nuclear technologies.

Harvesting Nuclear Power

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