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Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category

Apr 20, 2019

Is Lockheed Martin working on a nuclear fusion-powered fighter jet?

Posted by in categories: military, nuclear energy

Circa 2018


Lockheed Martin quietly obtained a patent for what could be a game-changing nuclear fusion reactor, one that could potentially fit into a fighter jet.

If the latest patent from defence manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin is anything to go by, nuclear fusion technology could revolutionise the future of travel.

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Apr 18, 2019

Artificial intelligence speeds efforts to develop clean, virtually limitless fusion energy

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence (AI), a branch of computer science that is transforming scientific inquiry and industry, could now speed the development of safe, clean and virtually limitless fusion energy for generating electricity. A major step in this direction is under way at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University, where a team of scientists working with a Harvard graduate student is for the first time applying deep learning—a powerful new version of the machine learning form of AI—to forecast sudden disruptions that can halt fusion reactions and damage the doughnut-shaped tokamaks that house the reactions.

Promising new chapter in fusion research

“This research opens a promising new chapter in the effort to bring unlimited energy to Earth,” Steve Cowley, director of PPPL, said of the findings, which are reported in the current issue of Nature magazine. “Artificial intelligence is exploding across the sciences and now it’s beginning to contribute to the worldwide quest for fusion power.”

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Apr 17, 2019

Researchers Just Demonstrated Nuclear Fusion in a Device Small Enough to Keep at Home

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

When it comes to the kinds of technology needed to contain a sun, there are currently just two horses in the race. Neither is what you’d call ‘petite’.

An earlier form of fusion technology that barely made it out of the starting blocks has just overcome a serious hurdle. It’s got a long way to catch up, but given its potential cost and versatility, a table-sized fusion device like this is worth watching out for.

While many have long given up on an early form of plasma confinement called the Z-pinch as a feasible way to generate power, researchers at the University of Washington in the US have continued to look for a way to overcome its shortcomings.

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Apr 16, 2019

Physicists spot the signatures of nuclear fusion in a table-top device

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics

Stable plasma conditions are generated in a Z-pinch device for the first time, offering a new route more compact fusion reactors.

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Apr 15, 2019

Removing Fuel Rods, Japan Hits Milestone in Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, robotics/AI

The operator of Japan’s ruined Fukushima nuclear power plant began removing radioactive fuel rods on Monday at one of three reactors that melted down after an earthquake and a tsunami in 2011, a major milestone in the long-delayed cleanup effort.

Thousands of former residents have been barred from the area around the plant for years as crews carried out a large-scale radioactive waste cleanup in the aftermath of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The process of removing the fuel rods from a storage pool had been delayed since 2014 amid technical mishaps and high radiation levels.

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power, said in a statement that workers on Monday morning began removing the first of 566 spent and unspent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s third reactor. A radiation-hardened robot had first located the melted uranium fuel inside the reactor in 2017.

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Apr 12, 2019

China: New “Artificial Sun” Will Be Completed This Year

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

The ions at its core will be seven times hotter than those of the real Sun.

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Apr 11, 2019

Nuclear fusion breakthrough breathes life into the overlooked Z-pinch approach

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

Nuclear fusion holds untold potential as a source of power, but to recreate the colliding atomic nuclei taking place inside the Sun and generate inexhaustible amounts of clean energy scientists will need to achieve remarkable things. Tokamak reactors and fusion stellarators are a couple of the experimental devices used in pursuit of these lofty goals, but scientists at the University of Washington (UW) are taking a far less-frequented route known as a Z-pinch, with the early signs pointing to a cheaper and more efficient path forward.

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Apr 8, 2019

What is a Nuclear Microreactor?

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Learn about the BIG potential of microreactors.

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Apr 5, 2019

Getting a big look at tiny particles

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nuclear energy, quantum physics, supercomputing

At the turn of the 20th century, scientists discovered that atoms were composed of smaller particles. They found that inside each atom, negatively charged electrons orbit a nucleus made of positively charged protons and neutral particles called neutrons. This discovery led to research into atomic nuclei and subatomic particles.

An understanding of these ’ structures provides crucial insights about the forces that hold matter together and enables researchers to apply this knowledge to other scientific problems. Although electrons have been relatively straightforward to study, protons and neutrons have proved more challenging. Protons are used in medical treatments, scattering experiments, and fusion energy, but nuclear scientists have struggled to precisely measure their underlying structure—until now.

In a recent paper, a team led by Constantia Alexandrou at the University of Cyprus modeled the location of one of the subatomic particles inside a , using only the basic theory of the strong interactions that hold matter together rather than assuming these particles would act as they had in experiments. The researchers employed the 27-petaflop Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) and a method called lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD). The combination allowed them to map on a grid and calculate interactions with high accuracy and precision.

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Apr 4, 2019

Synopsis: Igniting Fusion in the Lab

Posted by in categories: futurism, nuclear energy

Researchers spot the signatures of nuclear fusion in a table-top-sized setup commonly used to study the plasmas found in stars and other astrophysical objects.

Future nuclear fusion reactors promise the possibility of supplying Earth with an unlimited source of clean energy. Attempts to create these reactors typically involve building-sized contraptions to generate the hot plasma needed to initiate fusion reactions. Now Yue Zhang at the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues have successfully ignited sustained fusion using a setup that is small enough to sit on a table.

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