Nuclear Energy News -- ScienceDaily

Nuclear Energy Research. Nuclear power, fission and fusion, tabletop accelerators, and more. Read the latest scientific research on nuclear energy.
Nuclear Energy News -- ScienceDaily
  1. The blob that ate the tokamak: Physicists gain understanding of bubbles at edge of plasmas
    Scientists have completed new simulations that could provide insight into how blobs at the plasma edge behave. The simulations performed kinetic simulations of two different regions of the plasma edge simultaneously.
  2. Loops of liquid metal can improve future fusion power plants, scientists say
    Researchers have proposed an innovative design to improve the ability of future fusion power plants to generate safe, clean and abundant energy in a steady state, or constant, manner. The design uses loops of liquid lithium to clean and recycle the tritium, the radioactive hydrogen isotope that fuels fusion reactions, and to protect the divertor plates from intense exhaust heat from the tokamak that contains the reactions.
  3. Detailed look at 2-D structure of turbulence in tokamaks
    A key hurdle for fusion researchers is understanding turbulence, the ripples and eddies that can cause the superhot plasma that fuels fusion reactions to leak heat and particles and keep fusion from taking place. Comprehending and reducing turbulence will facilitate the development of fusion as a safe, clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity from power plants around the world.
  4. Electron behavior under extreme conditions described for the first time
    Researchers have modeled the actions of electrons under extreme temperatures and densities, such as those found within planets and stars.
  5. New 'molecular trap' cleans more radioactive waste from nuclear fuel rods
    A new method for capturing radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is cheaper and more effective than current methods, a potential boon for the energy industry, according to new research.
  6. Safety assistance system warns of dirty bombs
    The threat of terrorism has been on the rise in recent years, with experts and politicians particularly worried that terrorists might make use of dirty bombs. Researchers have developed a new system that will be able to detect possible carriers of radioactive substances, even in large crowds of people.
  7. New source of radioactivity from Fukushima disaster
    Scientists have found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated -- in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away. The sands took up and retained radioactive cesium originating from the disaster in 2011 and have been slowly releasing it back to the ocean.
  8. New reassurance that heat flux will be manageable in ITER
    A major issue facing ITER, the international tokamak under construction in France that will be the first magnetic fusion device to produce net energy, is whether the crucial divertor plates that will exhaust waste heat from the device can withstand the high heat flux, or load, that will strike them. Alarming projections extrapolated from existing tokamaks suggest that the heat flux could be so narrow and concentrated as to damage the tungsten divertor plates in the seven-story, 23,000 ton tokamak and require frequent and costly repairs. This flux could be comparable to the heat load experienced by spacecraft re-entering Earth's atmosphere.
  9. Discovery could reduce nuclear waste with improved method to chemically engineer molecules
    A new chemical principle has the potential to revolutionize the creation of specially engineered molecules whose uses include the reduction of nuclear waste and the extraction of chemical pollutants from water and soil.
  10. New way to stabilize next-generation fusion plasmas
    Recent experiments conducted on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility suggest that up to 40 percent of high-energy particles are lost during tokamak fusion reactions because of Alfvén waves.
  11. Particle physicists on a quest for 'new physics'
    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, produces hundreds of millions of proton collisions per second. But researchers working on the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment can only record 2,000 of those collisions, using one of the detectors installed on the accelerator. So in the end, this technological marvel leaves the physicists wanting more. They are convinced that the vast volume of uncaptured data holds the answers to several unresolved questions.
  12. Like a revolving door: How shuttling proteins operate nuclear pores
    Nuclear pore complexes are tiny channels where the exchange of substances between the cell nucleus and the cytoplasm takes place. Scientists report on startling new research that might overturn established models of nuclear transport regulation. Their study reveals how shuttling proteins known as importins control the function of nuclear pores – as opposed to the view that nuclear pores control the shuttling of importins.
  13. Some plasma instabilities can extinguish themselves
    A physicist has for the first time used advanced models to accurately simulate key characteristics of the cyclic behavior of edge-localized modes, a particular type of plasma instability. The findings could help physicists more fully comprehend the behavior of plasma, the hot, charged gas that fuels fusion reactions in doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called tokamaks, and more reliably produce plasmas for fusion reactions.
  14. Radiological crimes investigations: Scientist-detectives put themselves to the test
    When radioactive material is intercepted at the border, officials need scientific support to determine what it is, if it's dangerous to first responders or the public, and if it's illegal to possess.
  15. How 139 countries could be powered by 100 percent wind, water, and solar energy by 2050
    The latest roadmap to a 100 percent renewable energy future outlines infrastructure changes that 139 countries can make to be entirely powered by wind, water, and sunlight by 2050 after electrification of all energy sectors. Such a transition could mean less worldwide energy consumption due to the efficiency of clean, renewable electricity; and a net increase of over 24 million long-term jobs.
  16. Quick and easy way to shut down instabilities in fusion devices
    Scientists have discovered a remarkably simple way to suppress a common instability that can halt fusion reactions and damage the walls of reactors built to create a "star in a jar."
  17. Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter
    A potential new state of matter is being reported with research showing that among superconducting materials in high magnetic fields, the phenomenon of electronic symmetry breaking is common. The ability to find similarities and differences among classes of materials with phenomena such as this helps researchers establish the essential ingredients that cause novel functionalities such as superconductivity.
  18. New SQUID-based detector opens up new fields of study with new level of sensitivity
    Investigators have developed a new sensor array-based instrument that offers ultra-low noise detection of small amounts of energy for a number of applications. The new device allows for the collection of data from many more detectors than was previously possible.
  19. Analysis highlights failings in US's advanced nuclear program
    Despite repeated promises over the past 18 years, the US Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) is unlikely to deliver on its mission to develop and demonstrate an advanced nuclear reactor by the mid-21st century.
  20. Updated computer code improves prediction of particle motion in plasma experiments
    A computer code used by physicists around the world to analyze and predict tokamak experiments can now approximate the behavior of highly energetic atomic nuclei, or ions, in fusion plasmas more accurately than ever.
  21. Scientists probe the conditions of stellar interiors to measure nuclear reactions
    Most of the nuclear reactions that drive the nucleosynthesis of the elements in our universe occur in very extreme stellar plasma conditions. This intense environment found in the deep interiors of stars has made it nearly impossible for scientists to perform nuclear measurements in these conditions -- until now.
  22. World's smallest neutrino detector observes elusive interactions of particles
    In 1974, a Fermilab physicist predicted a new way for ghostly particles called neutrinos to interact with matter. More than four decades later, a team of physicists built the world's smallest neutrino detector to observe the elusive interaction for the first time.
  23. Climate change poses threat to European electricity production
    The vulnerability of the European electricity sector to changes in water resources is set to worsen by 2030 as a consequence of climate change, conclude researchers.
  24. The first light atomic nucleus with a second face
    To some degree of approximation, atomic nuclei look like spheres which in most cases are distorted to a greater or lesser extent. When the nucleus is excited, its shape may change, but only for an extremely brief moment, after which it returns to its original state. A relatively permanent 'second face' of atomic nuclei has so far only been observed in the most massive elements. In a spectacular experiment, physicists have registered it in a light nucleus.
  25. Why a single nuke's impact shouldn't only be measured in megatons
    A single nuclear warhead could cause devastating climate change, resulting in widespread drought and famine that could cost a billion lives, warn researchers.
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