Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 2

Aug 20, 2023

NASA Signs Deal for Nuclear-Powered Rocket That Will Eventually Power Mars Missions

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

NASA has chosen Lockheed Martin to test a nuclear-powered rocket in space by 2027, in hopes of using the system to power Mars missions.

Aug 18, 2023

Bigger and better quantum computers possible with new ion trap, dubbed the Enchilada

Posted by in categories: computing, economics, engineering, nuclear energy, quantum physics, security

Another concern was the dissipation of electrical power on the Enchilada Trap, which could generate significant heat, leading to increased outgassing from surfaces, a higher risk of electrical breakdown and elevated levels of electrical field noise. To address this issue, production specialists designed new microscopic features to reduce the capacitance of certain electrodes.

“Our team is always looking ahead,” said Sandia’s Zach Meinelt, the lead integrator on the project. “We collaborate with scientists and engineers to learn about the kind of technology, features and performance improvements they will need in the coming years. We then design and fabricate traps to meet those requirements and constantly seek ways to further improve.”

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.

Aug 17, 2023

SHINE Technologies

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Cherenkov radiation achieved in faster than light reactions by SHINE.

SHINE has demonstrated clearly visible Cherenkov radiation produced by fusion for what is believed to be the first time in history. This visible evidence provides further proof that fusion can produce neutrons on par with some nuclear fission reactors.

Aug 16, 2023

Nuclear Fusion Heats Up

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

The observation of self-heating in magnetically confined plasmas represents a milestone on the road to fusion reactors based on such plasmas.

A fusion reactor would generate electricity using the energy released by nuclear-fusion reactions occurring in a plasma. A key step in the race toward realizing the dream of such a reactor is the creation of a burning plasma—one in which the fusion reactions themselves supply most of the heating needed to keep the plasma at fusion-relevant temperatures. This step has recently been demonstrated for inertially confined plasmas [1, 2] (see Research News: Ignition First in a Fusion Reaction) but has so far remained elusive for magnetically confined ones. This goal could now be within reach thanks to direct evidence for fusion-induced heating of electrons in magnetically confined plasmas obtained by Vasily Kiptily and colleagues at the UK-based Joint European Torus (JET) facility [3].

The fusion of two heavy hydrogen isotopes—deuterium (D) and tritium (T)—presents the most promising path to a fusion reactor, both because of the relative ease in getting these isotopes to fuse and because of the large amount of energy released in each reaction. When D and T fuse, an alpha particle (a helium-4 nucleus) and a neutron are generated, carrying the released energy in the form of kinetic energy. The goal of achieving energy production from controlled fusion on Earth relies on the created alpha particles remaining in the plasma and heating the fusion fuel to keep the reactions going, while the kinetic energy of neutrons escaping the plasma is converted to electrical energy.

Aug 15, 2023

US scientists trying to harness the power of the sun have made a 2nd major breakthrough for the future of sustainable, green energy

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, sustainability

For the second time, scientists have taken one significant step forward toward a future that runs on clean, sustainable nuclear fusion-powered energy.

Aug 10, 2023

Inside MIT’s nuclear reactor laboratory

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy

How an old reactor could spark new technologies.

Aug 10, 2023

Nuclear-Powered Rockets Are One Step Closer to Reality

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

DRACO is a demonstrate prototype of a nuclear-powered rocket that is scheduled for launch in 2027.

Aug 9, 2023

NASA’s Building a Nuclear Rocket That Would Get Us to Mars in Just 6 Weeks

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

Deep space is a hostile environment for humans, which makes the long journey to Mars a serious stumbling block for manned missions. A nuclear-powered rocket could slash the journey time, and NASA has announced plans to test the technology by 2027 at the latest.

Most spacecraft to date have used chemical rockets packed with fuel and oxidizer, which rely on combustion to propel them through space. A nuclear-powered rocket would instead use a fission reactor to heat liquid hydrogen to very high temperatures and then blast it out the back of the spacecraft.

These kinds of engines could be up to three times more efficient than those in conventional rockets, and could cut the time to transit from Earth to Mars from roughly seven months to as little as six weeks. NASA has teamed up with DARPA to make the idea a reality, signing a deal with defense contractor Lockheed Martin to launch a working prototype into space as early as 2025.

Aug 8, 2023

US scientists achieve net energy gain for second time in a fusion reaction

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

US scientists have achieved net energy gain in a nuclear fusion reaction for the second time since a historic breakthrough in December last year in the quest to find a near-limitless, safe and clean source of energy.

Scientists at the California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory repeated the breakthrough in an experiment in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) on 30 July that produced a higher energy yield than in December, a Lawrence Livermore spokesperson said.

Aug 8, 2023

US uses lasers to achieve fusion energy gain for second time

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Using a 192-beam laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility, researchers heated and compressed hydrogen atoms, exceeding solar temperatures.

Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California have successfully repeated the breakthrough experiment in nuclear fusion performed in December last year, Reuters.

The experiment performed on July 30 had a higher yield than what was obtained in December, a spokesperson said.

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