Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category: Page 12

Apr 29, 2020

30 Years Later, This Big Boy Fusion Reactor Is Almost Ready to Turn On

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Could nuclear fusion finally be right around the corner… in 2035?

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, is a 30-year-old project started by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. With tens of billions of dollars on the line, this experimental tokamak fusion reactor—a nuclear fusion plasma reactor where extremely hot, charged plasma spins and generates virtually limitless energy—is one of a handful of extremely costly “miniature suns” around the world.

Apr 28, 2020

Scientists explore the power of radio waves to help control fusion reactions

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics

A key challenge to capturing and controlling fusion energy on Earth is maintaining the stability of plasma—the electrically charged gas that fuels fusion reactions—and keeping it millions of degrees hot to launch and maintain fusion reactions. This challenge requires controlling magnetic islands, bubble-like structures that form in the plasma in doughnut-shaped tokamak fusion facilities. These islands can grow, cool the plasma and trigger disruptions—the sudden release of energy stored in the plasma—that can halt fusion reactions and seriously damage the fusion facilities that house them.

Improved island control

Research by scientists at Princeton University and at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) points toward improved control of the troublesome magnetic islands in ITER, the international tokamak under construction in France, and other future facilities that cannot allow large disruptions. “This research could open the door to improved control schemes previously deemed unobtainable,” said Eduardo Rodriguez, a graduate student in the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics and first author of a paper in Physics of Plasmas that reports the findings.

Apr 28, 2020

Inertial-confinement fusion with lasers

Posted by in categories: military, nuclear energy

Circa 2016

The quest for controlled fusion energy has been ongoing for over a half century. The demonstration of ignition and energy gain from thermonuclear fuels in the laboratory has been a major goal of fusion research for decades. Thermonuclear ignition is widely considered a milestone in the development of fusion energy, as well as a major scientific achievement with important applications in national security and basic sciences. The US is arguably the world leader in the inertial confinement approach to fusion and has invested in large facilities to pursue it, with the objective of establishing the science related to the safety and reliability of the stockpile of nuclear weapons. Although significant progress has been made in recent years, major challenges still remain in the quest for thermonuclear ignition via laser fusion. Here, we review the current state of the art in inertial confinement fusion research and describe the underlying physical principles.

Apr 28, 2020

Did US Navy patent a functional fusion device?

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, transportation

The US Patent Office has issued a patent for a Plasma Compression Fusion Device to Salvatore Pais, of Calloway MD. The patent assignee is the United States of American as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, Patuxent River MD.

The news of this patent issuance has produced a minor buzz that might turn into a cacophony or a flurry of excitement about ships, submarines and perhaps even aircraft powered by high powered, compact devices using a “virtually unlimited” fuel source.

I suspect many of the articles that might be written will gush about how these fusion devices will be far superior to conventional atomic fission devices because they will not produce radioactive waste products. [Right.].

Apr 28, 2020

Scientists think we’ll finally solve nuclear fusion thanks to cutting-edge AI

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

Scientists believe the world will see it’s first working thermonuclear fusion reactor by the year 2025. That’s a tall order in short form, especially when you consider that fusion has been “almost here” for nearly a century.

Fusion reactors – not to be confused with common fission reactors – are the holiest of Grails when it comes to physics achievements. According to most experts, a successful fusion reactor would function as a near-unlimited source of energy.

In other words, if there’s a working demonstration of an actual fusion reactor by 2025, we could see an end to the global energy crisis within a few decades.

Continue reading “Scientists think we’ll finally solve nuclear fusion thanks to cutting-edge AI” »

Apr 25, 2020

‘You’re basically right next to the nuclear reactor.’

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

I’ve been shocked sometimes when I walk in and see the patients. Most of the ones I’ve intubated are young — 30s, 40s, 50s. These are people who walked into the ER because they were coughing a day or two ago, or sometimes hours ago. By the time I come into the room, they are in severe respiratory distress. Their oxygen level might be 70 or 80 percent instead of 100, which is alarming. They are taking 40 breaths a minute when they should be taking 12 or 14. They have no oxygen reserves. They are pale and exhausted. It puts them in a mental fog, and sometimes they don’t hear me when I introduce myself. Some are panicky and gasping. Others are mumbling or incoherent. Last week, one patient was crying and asking to use my phone so they could call family and say goodbye, but their oxygen levels were dropping, and we didn’t have time, and I couldn’t risk bringing my phone in and contaminating it with virus, and the whole thing was impossible. I kept apologizing. I just —. I don’t know. I have to find a way to hold it together in order to do this job. I tear up sometimes, and if I do, it can fog up my face shield.

“It’s a powerless feeling, watching someone die”: An anesthesiologist on the frontline of coronavirus outbreak.

Continue reading “‘You’re basically right next to the nuclear reactor.’” »

Apr 24, 2020

Utilizing relativistic effects for laser fusion: A new approach for clean power

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Researchers at Osaka University studied a new approach for laser nuclear fusion utilizing relativistic phenomena of intense laser light. By irradiating the ultra-intense laser light directly onto the fusion fuel, the researchers examined signs of heating of fusion fuel. This work may lead to widespread, clean fusion power.

Apr 22, 2020

Fusion Energy Gets Ready to Shine—Finally

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Three decades and $23.7 billion later, the 25,000-ton International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is close to becoming something like the sun.

Apr 21, 2020

Muons: the little-known particles helping to probe the impenetrable

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Circa 2018

The ubiquitous particles are helping to map the innards of pyramids and volcanoes, and spot missing nuclear waste.

Apr 19, 2020

Kilopower is a small, light-weight fission nuclear power system capable of providing up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy, space

Kilopower is a small, light-weight fission nuclear power system capable of providing up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power — enough to run several average households continuously for at least 10 years.

Four Kilopower units would provide enough power to establish an outpost on the Moon or Mars.


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