Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category

Jun 14, 2019

Graphene (With a Twist) Is Helping Scientists Understand Superconductors

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Layers a single atom thick are naturally lightweight, yet also surprisingly tough and flexible. This led to initial speculation for graphene being used as the ideal building material or protective body armor of the future. Yet it is the electrical properties of graphene, which arise from the unique behavior of electrons in such a thin layer, that have led to the first use cases for graphene in sensors and LEDs. Superconductivity, on top of everything else, is the icing on the cake for this remarkable material.

A Physicist’s Playground

Of course, twisted bilayer graphene (TBG) is not the first substance to exhibit superconducting properties. Superconductors, which can, amongst other things, generate extremely high magnetic fields without losing energy to electrical resistance, are already widely in use. Striking examples include the magnets at ITER, the world’s largest fusion device, currently under construction.

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Jun 11, 2019

Protecting our energy infrastructure from cyberattack

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, nuclear energy

Almost every day, news headlines announce another security breach and the theft of credit card numbers and other personal information. While having one’s credit card stolen can be annoying and unsettling, a far more significant, yet less recognized, concern is the security of physical infrastructure, including energy systems.

“With a credit card theft, you might have to pay $50 and get a new credit card,” says Stuart Madnick, the John Norris Maguire Professor of Information Technologies at the Sloan School of Management, a professor of engineering systems at the School of Engineering, and founding director of the Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan consortium. “But with infrastructure attacks, real physical damage can occur, and recovery can take weeks or months.”

A few examples demonstrate the threat. In 2008, an alleged blew up an oil pipeline in Turkey, shutting it down for three weeks; in 2009, the malicious Stuxnet computer worm destroyed hundreds of Iranian centrifuges, disrupting that country’s nuclear fuel enrichment program; and in 2015, an attack brought down a section of the Ukrainian power grid—for just six hours, but substations on the grid had to be operated manually for months.

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Jun 2, 2019

Laser-driven technique for creating fusion is now within reach, say researchers

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

A laser-driven technique for creating fusion that dispenses with the need for radioactive fuel elements and leaves no toxic radioactive waste is now within reach, say researchers.

Dramatic advances in powerful, high-intensity lasers are making it viable for scientists to pursue what was once thought impossible: creating energy based on hydrogen-boron reactions. And an Australian physicist is in the lead, armed with a patented design and working with international collaborators on the remaining scientific challenges.

In a paper in the scientific journal Laser and Particle Beams today, lead author Heinrich Hora from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and international colleagues argue that the path to hydrogen-boron fusion is now viable, and may be closer to realization than other approaches, such as the deuterium-tritium fusion approach being pursued by U.S. National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor under construction in France.

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May 30, 2019

Pilgrim Is Closing. So Then What Happens To The Radioactive Waste?

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

This week, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will power down for the last time.

Over the next few years, workers will move the radioactive fuel into storage, dismantle the plant, and clean up the site. The process is called decommissioning, and a lot of people are worried about safety, cost and where the nuclear waste will finally end up.

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May 25, 2019

Scientists uncover exotic matter in the sun’s atmosphere

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space travel

Scientists from Ireland and France today [Thursday 23rd May] announced a major new finding about how matter behaves in the extreme conditions of the Sun’s atmosphere.

The scientists used large radio telescopes and ultraviolet cameras on a NASA spacecraft to better understand the exotic but poorly understood “fourth state of matter”. Known as plasma, this matter could hold the key to developing safe, clean and efficient nuclear energy generators on Earth. The scientists published their findings in the leading international journal Nature Communications.

Most of the matter we encounter in our everyday lives comes in the form of solid, liquid or gas, but the majority of the Universe is composed of plasma — a highly unstable and electrically charged fluid. The Sun is also made up of this plasma.

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May 23, 2019

‘Einstein Was Right: You Can Turn Energy Into Matter’

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

E=m c

Albert Einstein proposed the most famous formula in physics in a 1905 paper on Special Relativity titled Does the inertia of an object depend upon its energy content?

Essentially, the equation says that mass and energy are intimately related. Atom bombs and nuclear reactors are practical examples of the formula working in one direction, turning matter into energy.

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May 22, 2019

Can Miracle Material Stop Radiation?

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Product_two_ply_vest_detail Gamma radiation is the most penetrating and energetic form of nuclear radiation. To absorb half the incoming Gamma you need two and a half inches of concrete or almost half an inch of lead. So my eyebrows went up when I saw a press release for an organization called Radiation Shielding Technologies, or RST, selling protective clothing with this startling claim:

DemronTM not only protects against particle ionizing/nuclear radiation (such as Beta and Alpha), but does what NO OTHER full body radiation protection can do: shield against X-ray and low-energy Gamma emissions.”

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May 22, 2019

Scientists Are Creating Lasers So Powerful They Could Turn Light Into Matter

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

For over 11 decades we have known that matter and energy are interchangeable. The development of nuclear power has shown us that matter can be converted into energy, but converting energy into matter has so far proven a lot more difficult.

The battlefield for such an achievement is at the end of the most powerful lasers ever envisioned, currently being planned and built in a number of different countries. Three projects top the “gone to watch list” of the laser world, prepared by the journal Science. They are China’s Station of Extreme Light (SEL), Russia’s Exawatt Center for Extreme Light Studies (XCELS), and the Department of Energy’s Optical Parametric Amplifier Line (OPAL).

These three lasers are planned to completely annihilate the current record for laser power, which is 5.3 million billion watts or 5.3 petawatts (PW) and obtained by Ruxin Li and colleagues at the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility (SULF). Li is also behind SEL and hopes that by 2023 his team could reach the goal of a 100-PW laser.

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May 21, 2019

The New Nuclear: How A $600 Million Fusion Energy Unicorn Plans To Beat Solar

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Some A-list names—including the Rockefellers, Charles Schwab and Buzz Aldrin—are chasing the sun at fusion-energy firm TAE Technologies.

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May 20, 2019

TR-3B Anti-Gravity Spacecrafts

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

It doesn’t exist officially. It uses highly pressured mercury accelerated by nuclear energy to produce a plasma that creates a field of anti-gravity around the ship. Conventional thrusters located at the tips of the craft allow it to perform all manner of rapid high speed maneuvers along all three axes. Interestingly, the plasma generated also reduces radar signature significantly. So it’ll be almost invisible on radar & remain undetected. This literally means that it can go to any country it likes without being detected by air traffic control & air defence systems.

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