Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 47

Mar 5, 2021

Old Assumption Invalidated: Controlling Fusion Plasma and Plasma Turbulence

Posted by in categories: futurism, nuclear energy

After his PhD thesis invalidates an old assumption, Norman Cao wonders what’s next.

“What are some challenges in controlling plasma and what are your solutions? What is the most effective type of fusion device? What are some difficulties in sustaining fusion conditions? What are some obstacles to receiving fusion funding?”

For the past four years, graduate student Norman Cao ’15 PhD ’20 has been the Plasma Science and Fusion Center’s (PSFC’s) go-to “answer man,” replying to questions like these emailed by students and members of the general public interested in getting a deeper understanding of fusion and its potential as a future energy source.

Feb 28, 2021

Supercomputer-Powered Machine Learning Supports Fusion Energy Reactor Design

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Energy researchers have been reaching for the stars for decades in their attempt to artificially recreate a stable fusion energy reactor. If successful, such a reactor would revolutionize the world’s energy supply overnight, providing low-radioactivity, zero-carbon, high-yield power – but to date, it has proved extraordinarily challenging to stabilize. Now, scientists are leveraging supercomputing power from two national labs to help fine-tune elements of fusion reactor designs for test runs.

In experimental fusion reactors, magnetic, donut-shaped devices called “tokamaks” are used to keep the plasma contained: in a sort of high-stakes game of Operation, if the plasma touches the sides of the reactor, the reaction falters and the reactor itself could be severely damaged. Meanwhile, a divertor funnels excess heat from the vacuum.

In France, scientists are building the world’s largest fusion reactor: a 500-megawatt experiment called ITER that is scheduled to begin trial operation in 2025. The researchers here were interested in estimating ITER’s heat-load width: that is, the area along the divertor that can withstand extraordinarily hot particles repeatedly bombarding it.

Feb 24, 2021

Antimatter hydrogen has the same quantum quirk as normal hydrogen

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

O.,.o Could make a semi renewable fusion reactor or propulsion system.

Atoms of antihydrogen are affected by the Lamb shift, which results from transient particles appearing and disappearing.

Feb 24, 2021

For the first time, scientists detect the ghostly signal that reveals the engine of the universe

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Circa 2020

Neutrinos from a long-theorized nuclear fusion reaction in the sun have been definitively observed, confirming the process that powers many stars.

Feb 23, 2021

This Fuel Is About to Power the World’s Biggest Fusion Reactor

Posted by in categories: economics, nuclear energy, sustainability

Whoever manages it first, we are on the cusp of a new age sparked by fusion giving more than it gets (producing more energy than it uses), then miniaturization for practical use and mass manufacture. That would essentially mean that we have access to an infinite, cheap, safe, and clean energy source. No more coal. No more nuclear waste. Massively less global warming. Even better, given the fact that the world runs on an energy economy built around energy scarcity, we will essentially become a post-scarcity civilization. And THAT my friends is a permanent, impossible to overstate game changer. For EVERYTHING and EVERYONE — FOREVER.

But first, scientists need to see if it’s ready.

Feb 23, 2021

Scientists Now Testing Fuel for Giant New Fusion Reactor

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

British engineers are preparing to test the fuel mix that could one day power the largest nuclear fusion experiment in the world, as Nature reports.

Feb 15, 2021

Scientists Use Lithium To Control Heat In Nuclear Fusion Reactors

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Researchers unlocked the electronic properties of graphene by folding the material like origami paper.

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have created a plan using liquid lithium to control the extreme heat that could strike the exhaust system inside tokamak fusion reactors.

Continue reading “Scientists Use Lithium To Control Heat In Nuclear Fusion Reactors” »

Feb 12, 2021

Electric transmission operators could benefit from temperature-dependent resource adequacy modeling

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

How much does a power system’s reliability depend on the temperature? Electric power system generator resource adequacy modeling is designed to help determine capacity requirements for electric power system operators across the United States. While calculating resource adequacy requirements has been done for a century, it requires ongoing attention as the generation mix is constantly expanding and changing. A new paper contributes to these ongoing reliability considerations by using a unique data set to determine how both low and high temperatures reduce the reliability of coal, gas, diesel, hydroelectric, and nuclear power generators and thus affect the amount of generation markets should contract for.

Feb 10, 2021

The Plasma Compression Fusion Device—Enabling Nuclear Fusion Ignition

Posted by in categories: engineering, military, nuclear energy, particle physics

The plasma compression fusion device (PCFD) generates the energy gain by plasma compression-induced nuclear fusion. This concept has the capability of maximizing the product of plasma pressure and energy confinement time to maximize the energy gain, and thus give rise to fusion ignition conditions. The preferred embodiment of this original concept uses a hollow cross-duct configuration of circular cross section in which the concentrated magnetic energy flux from two pairs of opposing curved-headed counter-spinning conical structures (possibly made from an alloy of tungsten with high capacitance) whose outer surfaces are electrically charged compresses a gaseous mixture of fusion fuel into a plasma, heated to extreme temperatures and pressures. The generated high-intensity electromagnetic (EM) radiation heats the plasma and the produced magnetic fields confine it in between the counter-spinning conical structures, named the dynamic fusors (four of them-smoothly curved apex sections opposing each other in pairs). The dynamic fusors can be assemblies of electrified grids and toroidal magnetic coils, arranged within a conical structure whose outer surface is electrically charged. The cross-duct inner surface surrounding the plasma core region is also electrically charged and vibrated in an accelerated mode to minimize the flux of plasma particles (including neutrals) from impacting the PCFD surfaces and initiating a plasma quench. The fusion fuel (preferably deuterium gas) is introduced into the plasma core through the counterspinning conical structures, namely, injected through orifices in the dynamic fusor heads. There is envisioned another even more compact version of this concept, which uses accelerated vibration in a linear-duct configuration (using two counterspinning dynamic fusors only) and would best be suited for fusion power generation on aircraft, or main battle tanks. The concept uses controlled motion of electrically charged matter through accelerated vibration and/or accelerated spin subjected to smooth, yet rapid acceleration transients, to generate extremely high-energy/high-intensity EM radiation (fields of high-energy photons) which not only confines the plasma but also greatly compresses itso as to produce a high power density plasma burn, leading to ignition. The PCFD concept can produce power in the gigawatt to terawatt range (and higher) with input power in the kilowatt to megawatt range and can possibly lead to ignition (selfsustained) plasma burn. Several important practical engineering and operational issues with operating a device such as the PCFD are discussed.

Feb 7, 2021

Nuclear waste could be recycled for diamond battery power

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics


A team of physicists and chemists from the University of Bristol hope to recycle radioactive material directly from a former nuclear power plant in Gloucestershire to generate ultra-long-lasting power sources.

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