Nuclear power

  • Sandia Labs technology used to clean up Fukushima after disaster

    A Sandia Lab-developed technology — crystalline silico-titanate, or CST — is a molecular sieve that can separate highly volatile elements from radioactive wastewater; the technology has been used to remove radioactive material from more than forty-three million gallons of contaminated wastewater at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

  • Probability of nuclear reactor core meltdown higher than expected

    Currently, there are 440 nuclear reactors in operation, and sixty more are planned; new research finds that reactor accidents involving a core meltdown, as were the Chernobyl and Fukushima, may occur once every ten to twenty years — some 200 times more often than estimated in the past; the authors of the study note that they did not take into account potential contributing factors to accidents such as the age and type of reactors, or whether reactors are located in regions of enhanced risks such as earthquakes

  • Westinghouse, Missouri utilities promote Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor

    Westinghouse Electric Company and the Missouri Electric Alliance led by Ameren Missouri have formed a utility participation group called the NexStart SMR Alliance; alliance members signed a Memorandum of Understanding that highlights the importance of advancing nuclear energy by deploying the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR)

  • Seismic safety worries about South Carolina nuclear fuel facility

    The worries about the seismic safety of nuclear energy-related facilities, worries which have only grown since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, extend not only to nuclear power reactor, but to other facilities as well; the most recent example is a Westinghouse facility outside Columbia, South Carolina, one of only three facilities in the United States which make nuclear fuel for commercial reactors

  • Westinghouse AP1000 reactor concludes qualification testing

    Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor’s design differs from earlier reactor design in that it employs passive safety systems which rely only on natural forces such as gravity safely to shutdown and remain cool; Westinghouse says it has successfully completed the design, manufacture, and qualification of the lead AP1000 Reactor Coolant Pump

  • Small modular nuclear reactor may come to South Carolina

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently announced federal award totaling up to $452 million to support engineering, design certification, and licensing for up to two first-of-its kind small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) designs; a South Carolina-based organization dedicated to promoting innovative nuclear power generation wants to bring one such SMR to the state

  • U.S. nuclear industry strong safety performance in 2011

    Studies show that the U.S. nuclear power industry achieved strong safety performance in 2011; U.S. nuclear energy facilities in 2011 recorded the lowest number of unplanned shutdowns in more than a decade

  • Nuclear power stations launches emergency operations center

    The new 12,000 square-foot facility at the Beaver Valley Power Station supports overall management of activities related to maintaining public health and safety during the emergency at the plant

  • Fusion presents low proliferation risk

    American researchers have shown that prospective magnetic fusion power systems would pose a much lower risk of being used for the production of weapon-usable materials than nuclear fission reactors and their associated fuel cycle

  • New nuclear program to address U.K. capability gap

    A joint project between the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield for a New Nuclear Build and Manufacturing (NNUMAN) program has been awarded £4 million funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to research innovative manufacturing for the future of the U.K. nuclear power supply

  • New method for cleaning up nuclear waste

    There are more than 436 nuclear power plants operating in thirty countries, and they create a lot of nuclear waste; one of the more toxic elements in that waste is radionuclide technetium (99Tc); approximately 305 metric tons of 99Tc were generated from nuclear reactors and weapons testing from 1943 through 2010

  • Simulation of nuclear fusion shows high-gain energy output

    High-gain nuclear fusion could be achieved in a preheated cylindrical container immersed in strong magnetic fields, according to a series of computer simulations performed at Sandia National Laboratories; the method appears to be fifty times more efficient than using X-rays — a previous favorite at Sandia — to drive implosions of targeted materials to create fusion conditions

  • Good news: metal-reducing bacteria interacts with plutonium oxide

    Studies show that under oxygen-free conditions, plutonium(IV) hydrous oxide, the most common subsurface form of plutonium, does not become very soluble; this information will help in developing effective approaches for isolating and removing the contaminants before they can impact humans and the environment

  • Radiation-laced Japanese seafood detected in South Korea

    The effects of the Japanese nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daichii atomic energy plant are continuing to ripple across the world

  • A long-term low carbon energy strategy is essential for a prosperous U.K.

    An urgent remodeling of the U.K. energy infrastructure is vital if the country wants to decarbonize without “the lights going out” and not be reliant on imported energy supplies, says a new report