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Nuclear fusion and new nuclear fission technologies

China Aims to Lead in New Nuclear Power

Written by , on February 2, 2011

China has officially announced that it will launch a program to develop a thorium-fueled molten-salt nuclear reactor. If the reactor works as planned, China will lead the world in clean nuclear energy. Thorium has several advantages over uranium as a reactor fuel. Unlike a uranium reaction, a thorium fuel reaction does not produce weapons-usable plutonium. […]  Read more »

Solution to Major Problem in Nuclear Fusion

Written by , on November 15, 2010

A research team from the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories has discovered a way to keep the fusion plasma from eroding divertor walls inside tokamak fusion machines. The researchers believe that this could enable them to achieve "scientific breakeven" (i.e. the amount of energy produced by the reactor is greater than the energy […]  Read more »

Toshiba in Talks about Developing Travelling Wave Reactors

Written by , on March 24, 2010

Toshiba is in talks Terrapower, a company backed by Bill Gates, to jointly develop traveling wave nuclear reactors which are designed to use depleted uranium as fuel and could run for 60 years or more without refueling. (See for a description of travelling wave reactors.) Toshiba owns the Westinghouse Electric Company whose technology is […]  Read more »

“New Nuclear” – Power from Nuclear Waste

Written by , on March 24, 2010

A traveling-wave reactor is a kind of nuclear reactor that can convert fertile material into nuclear fuel as it runs. Travelling wave reactors differ from other kinds of  reactors in their ability to use little or no enriched uranium; instead they burn fuel made from depleted uranium, spent fuel removed from light-water reactors, natural uranium, […]  Read more »

Power from Nuclear Fusion within Two Years?

Written by , on March 23, 2010

Scientists have been working on developing nuclear fusion power generation since the early 1950s. The main problem has always been that more energy has been required to produce the reaction than is produced. Scientists at the National Ignition Facility in California believe that their latest experiments will overcome the problem. Their technique uses lasers to […]  Read more »

Lower Cost Nuclear Fusion

Written by , on August 12, 2009

A Canadian company, General Fusion, claims that it can build a relatively low-tech prototype nuclear fusion power plant within the next decade for less than a billion dollars. For decades, billions of dollars have been spent on research into ways of building a practical fusion reactor for electricity production. The major problem is creating a […]  Read more »

“New” Nuclear: Generation IV Reactors

Written by , on July 20, 2009

The first generation of nuclear power plants were the experimental plants ot the 1950s and early 60s, which were also used to power nuclear submarines. The second generation were the commercial plants from the later 1960s to the 1990s. After the Three-mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, a third generation of nuclear plants was developed. These […]  Read more »

Europe Turning to Nuclear Power Production

Written by , on July 20, 2009

The Italian senate has voted 154-1 to overturn a 22-year-old prohibition on new nuclear power stations. Their decision is line with those taken recently in several other European countries as a means of reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. Sweden has lifed its 29-year ban on new nuclear plants, Spain has begun to reverse its 25-year […]  Read more »

US Energy Commission Chair: “No Need for More Nuclear or Coal Plants Ever”

Written by , on April 26, 2009

John Wellinghoff, the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has told a U.S. Energy Association forum.that no new nuclear or coal plants may ever be needed in the United States, "We may not need any, ever," Mr Wellinghoff said. Renewables like wind, solar and biomass will provide enough energy to meet baseload capacity […]  Read more »

Is “Cold Fusion” Real?

Written by , on April 21, 2009

In 1989, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons anounced that they had demonstrated the production of excess heat during electrolysis with palladium cathodes in heavy water. The phenomenon was dubbed "cold fusion" and their claims were quickly dismissed. However, many laboratories have since repeated their expeiments. Although most have failed, a few have reported success. A […]  Read more »