Archive for the ‘nuclear energy’ category

Sep 29, 2020

Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

A series of research papers renews hope that the long-elusive goal of mimicking the way the sun produces energy might be achievable.

Sep 29, 2020

MIT Researchers Say Their Fusion Reactor Is “Very Likely to Work”

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

A team of researchers at MIT and other institutions say their “SPARC” compact fusion reactor should actually work — at least in theory, as they argue in a series of recently released research papers.

In a total of seven papers penned by 47 researchers from 12 institutions, the team argues that no unexpected impediments or surprises have shown up during the planning stages.

In other words, the research “confirms that the design we’re working on is very likely to work,” Martin Greenwald, deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and project lead, told The New York Times.

Sep 22, 2020

Inside First Light Fusion’s fight to solve clean energy and save the planet

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Nuclear energy with no meltdowns and barely any waste. Can nuclear fusion beat the skeptics?

Sep 21, 2020

NASA Found Another Way Into Nuclear Fusion

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


NASA has unlocked nuclear fusion on a tiny scale, with a phenomenon called lattice confinement fusion that takes place in the narrow channels between atoms. In the reaction, the common nuclear fuel deuterium gets trapped in the “empty” atomic space in a solid metal. What results is a Goldilocks effect that’s neither supercooled nor superheated, but where atoms reach fusion-level energy.

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Sep 19, 2020

Why Metallic Hydrogen Is the Holy Grail of High Pressure Physics

Posted by in categories: alien life, nuclear energy, physics

Making hydrogen a metal takes lot of pressure. But after a group of scientist’s lost the world’s first sample, the pressure is really on.

Is Jupiter the Reason for Life on Earth? —

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Sep 9, 2020

China’s First Homegrown Nuclear Reactor Begins Loading Fuel

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Hualong One development is being closely watched in the battle for the nation’s next-generation nuclear power systems. Its success could mean a nuclear revival in China that would have little to do with western developers including Westinghouse Electric Co. from the U.S. and France’s Electricite de France SA.

China’s homegrown nuclear technology took a significant step forward as a Hualong One reactor began loading fuel for the first time.

China National Nuclear Power Co., a unit of China National Nuclear Corp., said fuel loading started at the Fuqing No. 5 reactor, the first to use the domestic technology, on Sept. 4 after securing an operating license from the nation’s Ministry of Ecology & Environment, according a statement on its WeChat account. No timeline was given for starting up the reactor.

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Sep 9, 2020

An accurate simulation of high-pressure plasma for an economical helical fusion reactor

Posted by in categories: computing, nuclear energy

The research team of Assistant Professor Masahiko Sato and Professor Yasushi Todo of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) has succeeded using computer simulation in reproducing the high-pressure plasma confinement observed in the Large Helical Device (LHD). This result has enabled highly accurate predictions of plasma behavior aimed at realizing an economical helical fusion reactor.

In order to realize fusion energy, we must confine high pressure plasma using the magnetic field for a long duration. Although higher pressure plasma can be confined by a stronger magnetic field, it costs more to generate a stronger magnetic field using electromagnetic coils. Therefore, if the magnetic field strength is the same, a device that can confine higher pressure plasma is economically desirable. Because the LHD has succeeded in maintaining high-pressure plasma, there is great expectation in realizing a helical fusion reactor.

Design research for a future fusion reactor is performed based on computer simulations predicting the behavior of magnetically confined plasma. We require highly accurate simulations. To confirm the accuracy, the simulations are required to reproduce the experimental results obtained by the existing devices. However, the simulations had not reproduced the experimental results obtained by the LHD showing that high-pressure plasma is maintained. This has been a serious problem for the design research for an economical helical fusion reactor.

Sep 9, 2020

Existing Source for Muon-Catalyzed Nuclear Fusion Can Give Megawatt Thermal Fusion Generator

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Fusion Science and Technology: Vol. 75, No. 3, pp. 208–217.

Sep 8, 2020

Liquid universe

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

The cosmos was born in a churning fluid 300 million times hotter than the sun. We’ve recreated this hell, and it’s not just hot, it is also very, very strange, says Amanda Gefter (science writer based in London). TO LOOK deep into the fundamental structure of matter is to look billions of years back in time, to the moment when matter first blinked into being. Recreating the conditions of that moment has long been an aim for physicists wanting to understand how the universe evolved from the cosmic fireball that existed a fraction of a second after the big bang. Now researchers at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, have, almost certainly, finally recreated the moments after creation. By colliding nuclei together at enormous speeds, RHIC experimenters were able to break down the structure of nuclear matter. This resulted, most experts agree, in the formation of a long-sought-after plasma that is believed to be the primal stuff of the cosmos, the state of matter at the beginning of time. It turns out, though, that the nature of matter is inextricably tied to the vacuum in which it resides. And the RHIC experiments have thrown up some surprises. They seem to show that the vacuum is a richer and more complicated place than was previously imagined. They suggest the boundary between something and nothing is more blurred than experts had predicted. The stuff made at RHIC is a plasma consisting of quarks and gluons, the most basic building blocks of everything we see around us. Quarks combine in threes to form the protons and neutrons that comprise the nucleus of every atom. But while we can observe a single proton or neutron, we cannot observe a single quark. Quarks are perpetually confined to group living. In fact, the harder you try to pull quarks apart, the stronger the force between them becomes. This is part of the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which describes how the force between the quarks is carried by the massless gluons.

In QCD, it is the vacuum that imprisons the quarks. While it may sound like a barren place, the vacuum of QCD is a complex, dynamic arena. It writhes with virtual particles that appear in pairs, then annihilate and disappear again. It is haunted by strange creatures of various kinds, too, topologically complex knots and twists that are relatives of wormholes, places where space turns in on itself and seems treacherous. These knots and twists carve out paths for the gluons to travel along, thereby keeping the quarks together. These strange ideas have credence because of the success of QCD in predicting the reactions of fundamental particles. The only way to unglue quarks is to “melt” the vacuum between them. But the vacuum doesn’t give in easily. To raze its jagged terrain requires enormous amounts of concentrated energy, found only in powerful nuclear collisions, or the fireball at the earliest moments of time.

Sep 7, 2020

Large Hadron Collider Creates Matter From Light

Posted by in categories: information science, nuclear energy, particle physics

Scientists on an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider see massive W particles emerging from collisions with electromagnetic fields. How can this happen?

The Large Hadron Collider plays with Albert Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc², to transform matter into energy and then back into different forms of matter. But on rare occasions, it can skip the first step and collide pure energy—in the form of electromagnetic waves.

Last year, the ATLAS experiment at the LHC observed two photons, particles of light, ricocheting off one another and producing two new photons. This year, they’ve taken that research a step further and discovered photons merging and transforming into something even more interesting: W bosons, particles that carry the weak force, which governs nuclear decay.

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