With funding from an Energy Department Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies grant, Westinghouse Electric will develop a wireless transmitter to monitor reactor vessels and Pennsylvania State University's Radiation Science and Engineering Center will test the device. The RSEC will test to ensure the wireless signal isn't degraded by the high neutron and gamma radiation field.
If advanced technology allows nuclear power plants to be built for $2,000 per kilowatt and gas prices act as forecast, the percentage of the energy mix made up by nuclear power could be as much as 60%, according to an analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute. That share could increase to 80% or more if carbon emissions policies or other revenue streams are put in place.
A research program at the University of Iowa is investigating ways to store used nuclear fuel safely and training scientists in radiochemistry to bolster an aging workforce. The program has received funding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Energy Department, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
More than 30 nations are working toward building nuclear power programs for the first time, while many other countries are strengthening their nuclear sectors for more reliable, carbon-free energy, writes geoscientist Scott Montgomery. The US is at a crossroads where it must choose to retain its leadership in nuclear technology or see another country guide the industry.
Nuclear power plant operators in the US are continuously guarding against potentially dangerous scenarios, such as natural disasters, armed terrorists, airplane strikes and cyberattacks. Nuclear power plants keep business and plant control networks separate, making it impossible to take over a plant remotely.
Lawmakers introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would keep a nation from enriching uranium if it makes a deal with the US to share nuclear energy technology. Congress would also have more power in approving civilian nuclear agreements under the bill.
It's easier to say "no" to work when you're prepared to explain how it will distract you from more vital tasks, writes Shane Parrish. "Don't rely on your willpower to say no; instead, create systems that help you fend off distractions," he writes.
Though the ownership group for Turkey's Akkuyu nuclear power plant has changed, Rosatom said the first unit will be online in 2023 as planned. Construction is scheduled to begin this year, and Rosatom said it will try to safely accelerate building the first reactor.
- Page 1