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Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 3

Jun 15, 2024

China’s ‘artificial sun’ achieves breakthrough in nuclear fusion

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

Chinese scientists have made a groundbreaking milestone in nuclear fusion. They have announced a major achievement in discovering an advanced magnetic field structure “for the first time in the world” using the Huanliu-3 (HL-3) tokamak, also known as China’s “artificial sun.”

The discovery is the result of the first round of international joint experiments conducted on the HL-3 tokamak, a project that opened to global collaboration at the end of 2023.

Jun 13, 2024

Four Russian warships, including a nuclear sub, now sitting 200 miles off the coast of Florida

Posted by in categories: military, nuclear energy

Four Russian warships including a nuclear submarine have reached Cuba, just 200 miles off the coast of Florida, ahead of a planned military exercise in the Atlantic. The fleet — made up of a frigate, a nuclear-powered submarine, an oil tanker and a rescue tug — arrived in Havana Bay on Wednesday, welcomed by a 21-cannon salute from Cuba. Dramatic images from the arrival show the ominous and massive vessels entering the bay as Cubans lined up on…

Jun 12, 2024

The world’s only coal-to-nuclear reactor plant just broke ground in Wyoming

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Bill Gates’ TerraPower broke ground yesterday on its Natrium nuclear reactor plant, making it the first advanced reactor project ever to start construction.

Once it comes online, the Natrium demonstration plant in Kemmerer, Wyoming, will be a fully functioning commercial power plant. According to Gates, founder and chairman of TerraPower, Natrium will “be the most advanced nuclear facility in the world, and it will be much safer and produce far less waste than conventional reactors.”

It’s being constructed near the retiring coal-fired Naughton power plant and is the world’s only coal-to-nuclear project under development. TerraPower, which will employ between 200 and 250 people at the Natrium facility, wants to hire the 110 former coal workers to tap into their transferrable skills.

Jun 12, 2024

First Promethium ‘Complex’ Created, Revealing Mysterious Element’s Secrets

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

Promethium, one of the rarest and most mysterious elements in the periodic table, has finally given up some crucial chemical secrets.

By Mark Peplow & Nature magazine

One of the rarest and most mysterious elements in the periodic table has finally given up some crucial chemical secrets, eight decades after its discovery. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have become the first to use radioactive promethium to make a chemical ‘complex’ — a compound in which it is bound to a few surrounding molecules. This feat of synthesis enabled the team to study how the element bonds with other atoms in a solution with water. Published May 22 in Nature the findings fill a long-standing gap in chemistry textbooks, and could eventually lead to better methods for separating promethium from similar elements in nuclear waste, for example.

Jun 12, 2024

A Close Look at the Dynamics of an Ion–Neutral Reaction

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

A detailed study of a reaction between a molecular ion and a neutral atom has implications for both atmospheric and interstellar chemistry.

Reactions between ions and neutral atoms or molecules occur in various settings, from planetary atmospheres to plasmas. They are also the driving force behind rich reaction chains at play in the interstellar medium (ISM)—the giant clouds of gas and dust occupying the space between stars. The ISM is cold, highly dilute, and abundant with ionizing radiation [1]. These conditions are usually unfavorable for chemistry. Yet, more than 300 molecular species have been detected in the ISM to date, of which about 80% contain carbon [2]. Now Florian Grussie at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Germany and collaborators report an experimental and theoretical study of an ion–neutral reaction: that between a neutral carbon atom and a molecular ion (HD+), made of a hydrogen and a deuterium (heavy hydrogen) atom [3, 4]. The study’s findings could improve our understanding of the chemistry of the ISM.

Ion–neutral reactions are fundamentally different from those involving only neutral species. Unlike typical neutral–neutral reactions, ion–neutral reactions often do not need to overcome an activation energy barrier and proceed efficiently even if the temperature approaches absolute zero. The reason for this difference is that, in ion–neutral reactions, the ion strongly polarizes the neutral atom or molecule, causing attractive long-range interactions that bring the reactants together.

Jun 10, 2024

New insights on the role of nucleon exchange in nuclear fusion

Posted by in categories: computing, nuclear energy, physics

A recent study has explored the influence on low-energy fusion processes of isospin composition. This is a key nuclear property that differentiates protons from neutrons. The researchers used and theoretical modeling to investigate the fusion of different nuclei with varying isospin configurations. The results show that the isospin composition of the nuclei in a fusion reaction plays a crucial role in understanding the reaction. The paper is published in the journal Physical Review C.

In this study, researchers at Fisk University and Vanderbilt University used high-performance computational and theoretical modeling techniques to conduct a detailed many-body method study of how the dynamics of isospin influence nuclear fusion at low energies across a series of isotopes. The study also examined how the shape of the nuclei involved affect these dynamics. In systems where the nuclei are not symmetrical, the dynamics of isospin become particularly important, often leading to a lowered fusion barrier, especially in systems rich in neutrons. This phenomenon can be explored using facilities that specialize in the generation of beams composed of exotic, unstable nuclei.

The findings provide critical knowledge regarding the fundamental nuclear processes governing these reactions, which have broad implications for fields such as , astrophysics, and, perhaps someday, fusion-based energy.

Jun 10, 2024

The discovery of new turbulence transition in fusion plasmas

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Fusion energy is released when two light nuclei combine to form a single heavier one (nuclear fusion reaction). Fusion energy-based power generation (fusion power plant) uses the energy generated when deuterium and tritium combine to form helium.

Jun 9, 2024

Tony Seba’s Prediction: Nuclear Obsolete by 2030 — Wind, Solar, and Battery Storage the Future

Posted by in categories: futurism, nuclear energy

Small modular nuclear reactors are too expensive, too slow, and too risky, and the focus should be on wind, solar, and battery storage for energy needs Questions to inspire discussion What did Tony Seba predict about nuclear power in 2014? —Tony Seba predicted in 2014 that nuclear power would be obsolete by 2030, and recent research has shown that his predictions about the cost blowouts and inefficiency of small modular nuclear reactors were accurate.

Jun 7, 2024

Photon Polarization: The Next Breakthrough in Fusion Technology?

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

New studies show photon polarization is constant in varying environments, potentially improving plasma heating methods for fusion energy advancement.

Light, both literally and figuratively, pervades our world. It eliminates darkness, conveys telecommunications signals across continents, and reveals the unseen, from distant galaxies to microscopic bacteria. Light can also help heat the plasma within ring-shaped devices known as tokamaks as scientists work to leverage the fusion process to produce green electricity.

Recently, researchers from Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have discovered that one of the fundamental properties of photons—polarization—is topological, meaning it remains constant even as the photon transitions through various materials and environments. These findings, published in Physical Review D, could lead to more effective plasma heating techniques and advancements in fusion research.

Jun 7, 2024

An ‘artificial sun’ achieved a record-breaking fusion experiment, bringing us closer to clean, limitless energy

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

WEST, a fusion reactor in France, broke a record for tungsten tokamaks with a 6-minute plasma. It’s an important step toward clean, limitless energy.

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