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Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category

Jan 19, 2019

Why it is dangerous to build ever larger big bang machines

Posted by in categories: alien life, astronomy, cosmology, energy, engineering, ethics, existential risks, general relativity, governance, gravity, innovation, law, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, quantum physics, science, scientific freedom, security, singularity, space travel, supercomputing, theory, time travel

CERN has revealed plans for a gigantic successor of the giant atom smasher LHC, the biggest machine ever built. Particle physicists will never stop to ask for ever larger big bang machines. But where are the limits for the ordinary society concerning costs and existential risks?

CERN boffins are already conducting a mega experiment at the LHC, a 27km circular particle collider, at the cost of several billion Euros to study conditions of matter as it existed fractions of a second after the big bang and to find the smallest particle possible – but the question is how could they ever know? Now, they pretend to be a little bit upset because they could not find any particles beyond the standard model, which means something they would not expect. To achieve that, particle physicists would like to build an even larger “Future Circular Collider” (FCC) near Geneva, where CERN enjoys extraterritorial status, with a ring of 100km – for about 24 billion Euros.

Experts point out that this research could be as limitless as the universe itself. The UK’s former Chief Scientific Advisor, Prof Sir David King told BBC: “We have to draw a line somewhere otherwise we end up with a collider that is so large that it goes around the equator. And if it doesn’t end there perhaps there will be a request for one that goes to the Moon and back.”

“There is always going to be more deep physics to be conducted with larger and larger colliders. My question is to what extent will the knowledge that we already have be extended to benefit humanity?”

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Jan 18, 2019

Plunging Prices Mean Building New Renewable Energy Is Cheaper Than Running Existing Coal

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy, sustainability

A https://www.carbontracker.org/42-of-global-coal-power-plants…rst-study/” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://www.carbontracker.org/42-of-global-coal-power-plants…rst-study/”>new report reveals 42% of global coal capacity is currently unprofitable, and the United States could save $78 billion by closing coal-fired power plants in line with the Paris Climate Accord’s climate goals. This industry-disrupting trend comes down to dollars and cents, as the cost of renewable energy dips below fossil fuel generation.

Across the U.S., renewable energy is beating coal on cost: The price to build new wind and solar has fallen below the cost of running existing coal-fired power plants in Red and Blue states. For example, Colorado’s Xcel will retire 660 megawatts (MW) of coal capacity ahead of schedule in favor of renewable sources and battery storage, and reduce costs in the process. Midwestern utility MidAmerican will be the first utility to reach 100% renewable energy by 2020 without increasing customer rates, and Indiana’s NIPSCO will replace 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of coal with wind and solar.

Lazard’s https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-…rage-2018/” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-…rage-2018/”>annual Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis reports solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind costs have dropped an extraordinary 88% and 69% since 2009, respectively. Meanwhile, coal and nuclear costs have increased by 9% and 23%, respectively. Even without accounting for current subsidies, renewable energy costs can be considerably lower than the marginal cost of conventional energy technologies.

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Dec 29, 2018

New Calculations May Finally Make Fusion Energy a Reality

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

But despite all our advances, we’re not a whole lot closer to creating net-positive nuclear fusion. Put simply, that’s because these machines just take so much energy to generate plasma.

In fact, Wendelstein 7-X isn’t even intended to generate usable amounts of energy, ever. It’s just a proof of concept.

But for years, Hora and her team have been working on alternative designs. And in this study, they tested them out experimentally as well as through simulations.

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Dec 27, 2018

Scientists Create New Method of Fusion Energy, Without the Old Complications

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

A once-impossible new technique creates fusion energy with powerful lasers and without radioactive fuel.

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Dec 26, 2018

How Cargo Ships Can Go Green

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, sustainability, transportation

New rules will require investing in solar, biofuels and maybe even nuclear power.

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Dec 5, 2018

Meet the renegades building a nuclear fusion reactor in your neighbourhood

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

A growing number of start-ups want to create and commercialise nuclear fusion, to generate clean energy for all. Can they succeed where the big guns have failed?

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Dec 2, 2018

India Will Be the Second Country in the World To Use a Novel Nuclear Technology

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

A new type of nuclear reactor will bring clean energy to India.

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Nov 27, 2018

A Bill Gates-backed energy company is developing what could be a game-changing nuclear reactor

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

TerraPower, a nuclear-energy company founded by Bill Gates, is building a molten-chloride fast reactor that could help lower carbon-dioxide emissions.

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Nov 26, 2018

Wendelstein 7-X fusion reactor keeps its cool en route to record-breaking results

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Scientists toiling away on the cutting edge Wendelstein 7-X nuclear fusion reactor in Germany have pulled together results from their latest round of testing, with a few records to be found amongst them. Following a series of upgrades, the team is reporting the experimental device has achieved its highest energy density and the longest plasma discharge times for device of this type, marking another step forward in the quest for clean fusion power.

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Nov 18, 2018

China’s ‘artificial sun’ is now hot enough for nuclear fusion

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

On Tuesday, a team from China’s Hefei Institutes of Physical Science announced that its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor — an “artificial sun” designed to replicate the process our natural Sun uses to generate energy — just hit a new temperature milestone: 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit).

For comparison, the core of our real Sun only reaches about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit — meaning the EAST reactor was, briefly, more than six times hotter than the closest star.

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