from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Nuclear energy has been around for decades, but its safety and the safety of its radioactive waste have always been a political nightmare. Still, some researchers have been redesigning nuclear reactors to make them safer in many ways, but these newer designs have yet to be scaled up and used commercially. Maybe someday nuclear technology will be ubiquitous, but it’ll likely take a long time before anyone is willing to embrace fission/fusion energy that doesn’t come from the Sun.
- A European research reactor called Guinevere demonstrates the safety and benefits of a hybrid reactor-accelerator design. This nuclear reactor design is an accelerator-driven system (ADS) and uses a particle accelerator so that its nuclear reactor can run without enough fissile material to generate a nuclear chain reaction (so all the nuclear reactions stop when the external particle accelerator stops). A bonus feature is that its radioactive waste material can be transmuted via the particle accelerator into elements with lower half-lives that may be more convenient to handle and store. [url]
- Teenager Taylor Wilson has been building nuclear reactors for a few years already, and his current project is to build small, modular nuclear reactors capable of generating just 50-100 megawatts of electricity. Wilson’s reactors would create a more decentralized network of electricity generation, but that’s a lot of NIMBY to overcome…. [url]
- Italian scientists have halted research on piezonuclear fission. Low Energy Nuclear Reactions have been associated with Cold Fusion, so if there’s any kind of non-classical fission/fusion going on, it may take extraordinary evidence to convince anyone of it. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.