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Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 26

Feb 6, 2020

After decades of decline, the U.S. national fusion lab seeks a rebirth

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

A visionary new leader aims to expand and diversify the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory—and get back to building fusion reactors.

Feb 5, 2020

The Age of Graphene: Samsung’s Revolutionary Battery Technology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, mobile phones, nuclear energy, sustainability

Pre-historic times and ancient history are defined by the materials that were harnessed during that period.
We have the stone age, the bronze age, and the iron age.
Today is a little more complex, we live in the Space Age, the Nuclear Age, and the Information Age.
And now we are entering the Graphene Age, a material that will be so influential to our future, it should help define the period we live in.
Potential applications for Graphene include uses in medicine, electronics, light processing, sensor technology, environmental technology, and energy, which brings us to Samsung’s incredible battery technology!
Imagine a world where mobile devices and electric vehicles charge 5 times faster than they do today.
Cell phones, laptops, and tablets that fully charge in 12 minutes or electric cars that fully charge at home in only an hour.
Samsung will make this possible because, on November 28th, they announced the development of a battery made of graphene with charging speeds 5 times faster than standard lithium-ion batteries.
Before I talk about that, let’s quickly go over what Graphene is.
When you first hear about Graphene’s incredible properties, it sounds like a supernatural material out of a comic book.
But Graphene is real! And it is made out of Graphite, which is the crystallized form of carbon and is commonly found in pencils.
Graphene is a single atom thick structure of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice and is a million time thinner than a human hair.
Graphene is the strongest lightest material on Earth.
It is 200 times stronger than steel and as much as 6 times lighter.
It can stretch up to a quarter of its length but at the same time, it is the hardest material known, harder than a diamond.
Graphene can also conduct electricity faster than any known substance, 140 times faster than silicone.
And it conducts heat 10 times better than copper.
It was first theorized by Phillip Wallace in 1947 and attempts to grow graphene started in the 1970s but never produced results that could measure graphene experimentally.
Graphene is also the most impermeable material known, even Helium atoms can’t pass through graphene.
In 2004, University of Manchester scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov successfully isolated one atom thick flakes of graphene for the first time by repeatedly separating fragments from chunks of graphite using tape, and they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for this discovery.
Over the past 10 years, the price of Graphene has dropped at a tremendous rate.
In 2008, Graphene was one of the most expensive materials on Earth, but production methods have been scaled up since then and companies are selling Graphene in large quantities.

Sources:
http://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/explore/the-story-of-gr…rly-years/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_graphene
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_applications_of_graphene
http://luratia.com/graphene/category/graphene-facts#sthash.3…mEmGp.dpbs
https://blogs.windows.com/devices/2013/02/07/hero-material-1…-graphene/
https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-develops-battery-mat…ging-speed

Feb 4, 2020

Fungi That ‘Eat’ Radiation Are Growing on the Walls of Chernobyl’s Ruined Nuclear Reactor

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nuclear energy

Back in 1991, scientists were amazed when they made the discovery…

In the eerie environment inside the abandoned Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, researchers remotely piloting robots spotted pitch black fungi growing on the walls of the decimated No. 4 nuclear reactor and even apparently breaking down radioactive graphite from the core itself. What’s more, the fungi seemed to be growing towards sources of radiation, as if the microbes were attracted to them!

More than a decade later, University of Saskatchewan Professor Ekaterina Dadachova (then at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York) and her colleagues acquired some of the fungi and found that they grew faster in the presence of radiation compared to other fungi. The three species tested, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Cryptococcus neoformans and Wangiella dermatitidis, all had large amounts of the pigment melanin, which is found – among many places – in the skin of humans. People with a darker skin tone have much more of it. Melanin is known to absorb light and dissipate ultraviolet radiation, but in the fungi, it seemed to also be absorbing radiation and converting it into chemical energy for growth, perhaps in a similar fashion to how plants utilize the green pigment chlorophyll to attain energy from photosynthesis.

Continue reading “Fungi That ‘Eat’ Radiation Are Growing on the Walls of Chernobyl’s Ruined Nuclear Reactor” »

Feb 2, 2020

ThorCon Advanced Nuclear Reactor — More Than Worth Its Weight In Salt

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

ThorCon is a nuclear reactor with molten salt fuel containing thorium+uranium that is walk-away-safe. ThorCon would be completely manufactured in 150 to 500 ton blocks in a shipyard, assembled and towed to a site, with order of magnitude improvements in productivity, quality control, and build time.

Jan 29, 2020

Scientists develop a concept of a hybrid thorium reactor

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Russian scientists have proposed a concept of a thorium hybrid reactor in that obtains additional neutrons using high-temperature plasma held in a long magnetic trap. This project was applied in close collaboration between Tomsk Polytechnic University, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute Of Technical Physics (VNIITF), and Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics of SB RAS. The proposed thorium hybrid reactor is distinguished from today’s nuclear reactors by moderate power, relatively compact size, high operational safety, and a low level of radioactive waste.

“At the initial stage, we get relatively cold using special plasma guns. We retain the amount by deuterium gas injection. The injected neutral beams with particle energy of 100 keV into this plasma generate the high-energy deuterium and tritium ions and maintain the required temperature. Colliding with each other, deuterium and tritium ions are combined into a helium nucleus so high-energy neutrons are released. These neutrons can freely pass through the walls of the vacuum chamber, where the plasma is held by a magnetic field, and entering the area with nuclear fuel. After slowing down, they support the fission of heavy nuclei, which serves as the main source of energy released in the hybrid ,” says professor Andrei Arzhannikov, a chief researcher of Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics of SB RAS.

The main advantage of a hybrid nuclear fusion reactor is the simultaneous use of the fission reaction of heavy nuclei and synthesis of light ones. It minimizes the disadvantages of applying these nuclear reactions separately.

Jan 29, 2020

Switzerland switches off nuclear plant as it begins exit from atomic power

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Switzerland-switches-off-nuclear-plant-as-it-begins-exit-from-atomic-power.


MUEHLEBERG, Switzerland (Reuters) — Switzerland’s Muehleberg nuclear power station went off the grid on Friday after 47 years, marking the end of an era as the shutdown starts the country’s exit from atomic power.

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Jan 28, 2020

5 Big Ideas for Making Fusion Power a Reality

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

After decades of not happening, fusion power finally appears to be maybe possibly happening.


The joke has been around almost as long as the dream: Nuclear fusion energy is 30 years away…and always will be. But now, more than 80 years after Australian physicist Mark Oliphant first observed deuterium atoms fusing and releasing dollops of energy, it may finally be time to update the punch line.

Over the past several years, more than two dozen research groups—impressively staffed and well-funded startups, university programs, and corporate projects—have achieved eye-opening advances in controlled nuclear fusion. They’re building fusion reactors based on radically different designs that challenge the two mainstream approaches, which use either a huge, doughnut-shaped magnetic vessel called a tokamak or enormously powerful lasers.

Continue reading “5 Big Ideas for Making Fusion Power a Reality” »

Jan 28, 2020

Nuclear waste recycled into diamond batteries with ‘near-infinite power’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nuclear energy, space travel

Thousands of tonnes of radioactive materials could be used to power everything from pacemakers to spacecraft.

Jan 23, 2020

Helium-3 mining on the lunar surface

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space travel

The idea of harvesting a clean and efficient form of energy from the Moon has stimulated science fiction and fact in recent decades. Unlike Earth, which is protected by its magnetic field, the Moon has been bombarded with large quantities of Helium-3 by the solar wind. It is thought that this isotope could provide safer nuclear energy in a fusion reactor, since it is not radioactive and would not produce dangerous waste products.

The Apollo programme’s own geologist, Harrison Schmidt, has repeatedly made the argument for Helium-3 mining, whilst Gerald Kulcinski at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is another leading proponent. He has created a small reactor at the Fusion Technology Institute, but so far it has not been possible to create the helium fusion reaction with a net power output.

This has not stopped the search for Helium-3 from being a motivating factor in space exploration, however. Apart from the traditional space-faring nations, the India has previously indicated its interest in mining the lunar surface. The use of Moon resources was also part of Newt Gingrich’s unsuccessful candidacy for the Republican party’s nomination for the US presidency in 2012.

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Jan 22, 2020

Navy Files Patent for Compact Fusion Reactor

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

Essentially beyond this is a higgs boson reactor essentially a universe of power in a jar.


Scientists have longed to create the perfect energy source. Ideally, that source would eventually replace greenhouse gas-spewing fossil fuels, power cars, boats, and planes, and send spacecraft to remote parts of the universe. So far, nuclear fusion energy has seemed like the most likely option to help us reach those goals.

Continue reading “Navy Files Patent for Compact Fusion Reactor” »

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