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. New instrument identifies unexploded artillery shells
    Society faces threats through the malicious use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosive (CBRNE) materials. The detection of illicit trafficking or other criminal acts, as well as many security and safety applications, call for novel material analysis techniques and instruments. These detection systems should be non-destructive but still be able to detect and identify the threat objects, even from inside a shielding or masking enclosure. Active interrogation methods that use penetrative particle beams can reveal the presence of CBRNE materials.
  2. United States has lost dominance in highly intense, ultrafast laser technology to Europe and Asia, new report finds
    The U.S. is losing ground in a second laser revolution of highly intense, ultrafast lasers that have broad applications in manufacturing, medicine, and national security, says a new report. Currently, 80 percent to 90 percent of the high-intensity laser systems are overseas, and all of the highest power research lasers currently in construction or already built are overseas as well.
  3. Physicists propose a new method for monitoring nuclear waste
    New scientific findings suggest neutrino detectors may play an important role in ensuring better monitoring and safer storage of radioactive material in nuclear waste repository sites.
  4. Uranium to replace plastic? Chemistry breakthrough could pave the way for new materials
    Uranium can perform reactions that previously no one thought possible, which could transform the way industry makes bulk chemicals, polymers, and the precursors to new drugs and plastics, according to new findings.
  5. Predictive framework, thick skin of atomic nucleus discovered by chemistry, physics research group
    A cross-disciplinary research team has discovered both a framework to predict where neutrons will inhabit a nucleus and a way to predict the skin thickness of a nucleus.
  6. How Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks
    For the first time, a science experiment has measured Earth's ability to absorb neutrinos -- the smaller-than-an-atom particles that zoom throughout space and through us by the trillions every second at nearly the speed of light. The experiment was achieved with the IceCube detector, an array of 5,160 basketball-sized sensors frozen deep within a cubic kilometer of very clear ice near the South Pole.
  7. Homes should not be abandoned after a big nuclear accident, study suggests
    Few people, if any, should be asked to leave their homes after a big nuclear accident, which is what happened in March 2011 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, new research recommends.
  8. New theory rewrites opening moments of Chernobyl disaster
    A brand-new theory of the opening moments during the Chernobyl disaster, the most severe nuclear accident in history, based on additional analysis.
  9. Next step toward fusion energy
    Fusion is the process that powers the sun, and harnessing it on Earth would provide unlimited clean energy. Researchers say that constructing a fusion power plant has proven to be a daunting task because there have been no materials that could survive the grueling conditions found in the core of a fusion reactor. Now, researchers have discovered a way to make materials that may be suitable for use in future fusion reactors.
  10. A fast reactor system to shorten the lifetime of long-lived fission products
    Researchers have proposed a more efficient method to reduce radioactive waste. The study involves converting radioactive material into short-lived nuclides by absorbing surplus neutrons in the core peripheral portion of a small fast reactor faster than they are generated in the core, thus providing an effective way to lessen the burden of nuclear waste on future generations.
  11. Reaching new heights: Physicists improve the vertical stability of superconducting Korean fusion device
    A new article describes an international collaboration that has improved stability on KSTAR tokamak in South Korea.
  12. Nuclear energy programs do not increase likelihood of proliferation, study finds
    Contrary to popular thought, nuclear proliferation is not more likely to occur among countries with nuclear energy programs, according to research. In a historical analysis of the relationship between nuclear energy programs and proliferation from 1954 to 2000, the study finds that the link between the two has been overstated.
  13. Revolutionizing nuclear waste reprocessing and saving money
    Seeking a better way to capture radioactive iodides in spent nuclear reactor fuel, scientists have developed an extremely efficient 'molecular trap' that can be recycled and reused.
  14. Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light
    Researchers have discovered a new way to produce high energy photon beams. The new method makes it possible to produce these gamma rays in a highly efficient way, compared with today's technique. The obtained energy is a billion times higher than the energy of photons in visible light. These high intensity gamma rays significantly exceed all known limits, and pave the way towards new fundamental studies.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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