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Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 11

May 12, 2020

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a 3D printed nuclear reactor core

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, nuclear energy

Researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are developing a nuclear reactor core using 3D printing.

As part of its Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR) Demonstration Program, which aims to build an additively manufactured microreactor, ORNL has refined its design of the reactor core, while also scaling up the additive manufacturing process necessary to build it. Additionally, the researchers have established qualification methods to confirm the consistency and reliability of the 3D printed components used in creating the core.

“The nuclear industry is still constrained in thinking about the way we design, build and deploy nuclear energy technology,” comments ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia.

Continue reading “Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a 3D printed nuclear reactor core” »

May 11, 2020

Physicists Think They’ve Found a New Way to Stabilise And Control Fusion Reactors

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics

A team of research physicists at Princeton University may have found a new way to control fusion reactions inside doughnut-shaped tokamak reactors — an incremental step towards making fusion energy, the ‘holy grail of energy production’, a reality.

Many fusion reactors today use light elements in the form of plasma as fuel. The problem is that this elemental plasma is extremely hot — practically as hot as the Sun — and extremely unpredictable and difficult to control.

But there may be a way to force the plasma into doing what we want more predictably and efficiently, as detailed in a new theoretical paper published in the journal Physics of Plasmas.

Continue reading “Physicists Think They’ve Found a New Way to Stabilise And Control Fusion Reactors” »

May 10, 2020

A Polywell Fusion Reactor Designed for Net Power Generation

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Circa 2017


A brief history of Polywell progress is recounted. The present PIC simulation explains why the most recent Polywell fusion reactor failed to produce fusion energy. Synchronized variations of multiple parameters would require DC power supplies, not available in historic model testing. Even with DC power, the simulation showed that the trapping of cold electrons would ruin plasma stability during start-up. A theoretical solution to this trapping problem was found in Russian literature describing diocotron-pumping of electrons out of a plasma trap at Kharkov Institute. In Polywell, diocotron-pumping required matching the depth of the potential-well to the electron-beam current falling on a special aperture installed in one of the electromagnets. With diocotron-pumping the reactor was simulated to reach steady-state, maximum-power operation in a few milliseconds of simulated time. These improvements, validated in simulating small-scale DD reactors, were scaled up by a factor of 30 to simulate a large, net-power reactor burning p + 11 B fuel. Power-balance was estimated from a textbook formula for fusion power density by numerically integrating the power density. Unity power-balance required the size of the p + 11 B reactor to be somewhat larger than ITER.

May 9, 2020

Nuclear fusion scientists just solved a major problem in harnessing plasma hotter than the Sun

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

Circa 2018 :3


Jong-Kyu Park and colleagues predicted a set of distortions that could control ELMs without any additional instabilities. They then tested these distortions at the Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR)—a ring-shaped magnetic fusion confinement device. Their experiments worked.

“We show for the first time the full 3D field operating window in a tokamak to suppress ELMs without stirring up core instabilities or excessively degrading confinement,” Park said. “For a long time we thought it would be too computationally difficult to identify all beneficial symmetry-breaking fields, but our work now demonstrates a simple procedure to identify the set of all such configurations.”

Continue reading “Nuclear fusion scientists just solved a major problem in harnessing plasma hotter than the Sun” »

May 8, 2020

Radio Wave Breakthrough Helps Stabilize Fusion Reactions

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

Scientists from Princeton University and the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have used radio frequency waves and temperature to stabilize the white-hot and volatile plasma that swirls inside of fusion reactors like tokamaks and stellarators.

The radio waves disrupt the magnetic islands that form and disrupt the plasma flow, and temperature magnifies the stabilizing effect. As the saying goes, the disruptor of your disruptor is your friend.

May 8, 2020

Physicists Discover New Trick to Stabilize Fusion Reactors

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics

Also could do a magnonic fusion reactor.


Magnetic Islands

But there may be a way to force the plasma into doing what we want more predictably and efficiently, as detailed in a new theoretical paper published in the journal Physics of Plasmas.

Continue reading “Physicists Discover New Trick to Stabilize Fusion Reactors” »

May 7, 2020

Alloy clear for use in high-temperature reactors

Posted by in categories: materials, nuclear energy

Alloy 617 — a combination of nickel, chromium, cobalt and molybdenum — has been approved by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for inclusion in its Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. This means the alloy, which was tested by Idaho National Laboratory (INL), can be used in proposed molten salt, high-temperature, gas-cooled or sodium reactors. It is the first new material to be added to the Code in 30 years.

The Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code lays out design rules for how much stress is acceptable and specifies the materials that can be used for power plant construction, including in nuclear power plants. Adhering to these specifications ensures component safety and performance.

INL spent 12 years qualifying Alloy 617, with a USD15 million investment from the US Department of Energy. A team at INL, in collaboration with groups at Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as industry consultants and international partners, has now received approval from ASME for the alloy’s inclusion in the Code. Designers working on new high-temperature nuclear power plant concepts now have more options when it comes to component construction materials.

May 4, 2020

Study reveals single-step strategy for recycling used nuclear fuel

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, nuclear energy, sustainability

A typical nuclear reactor uses only a small fraction of its fuel rod to produce power before the energy-generating reaction naturally terminates. What is left behind is an assortment of radioactive elements, including unused fuel, that are disposed of as nuclear waste in the United States. Although certain elements recycled from waste can be used for powering newer generations of nuclear reactors, extracting leftover fuel in a way that prevents possible misuse is an ongoing challenge.

Now, Texas A&M University engineering researchers have devised a simple, proliferation-resistant approach for separating out different components of . The one-step chemical reaction, described in the February issue of the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, results in the formation of crystals containing all of the leftover nuclear elements distributed uniformly.

The researchers also noted that the simplicity of their recycling approach makes the translation from lab bench to industry feasible.

May 4, 2020

New Material Finally Makes It Into the Almighty Nuclear Code

Posted by in categories: materials, nuclear energy

Scientists working at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have announced the approval of a new high-temperature metal after 12 years and a $15 million Department of Energy investment. Alloy 617, a “combination of nickel, chromium, cobalt and molybdenum,” is tolerant and strong at temperatures of more than 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The scientists say this means it could be used in existing high temperature nuclear facilities as well as cutting-edge applications like molten salt reactors.

For any new nuclear plant material, making the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code is like qualifying for the Olympics. Alloy 617 is the first new material to get into “The Code” in 30 years.

May 3, 2020

The Electric Vehicle Revolution Is Finally Hitting the U.S. Army

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, sustainability, transportation

The JLTV is the successor to the Humvee, and the Army plans to buy at least 50,000 in the coming decades.
The Army, concerned that civilian adoption of electric vehicles could leave it vulnerable, is looking into making the JLTV itself an EV.
An electric JLTV would reduce the need for diesel fuel at remote outposts, with power provided by solar or nuclear energy.

#USArmy
#USmilitary
#MilitaryNews

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