Nuclear energy

  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study proposes a method to differentiate between local plutonium-based contamination in soils versus trace plutonium stemming from global dispersion in the past, such as fallout from detonation and atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.

    • Chris Tighe
    • , Maxi Castrillejo
    •  & Malcolm J. Joyce
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Plasma fusion devices like tokamaks are important for energy generation but there are many challenges for their steady state operation. Here, the authors show that full divertor detachment is compatible with high-confinement high-poloidal-beta core plasmas and this prevents the damage to the divertor target plates and the first wall.

    • L. Wang
    • , H. Q. Wang
    •  & J. B. Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A detailed understanding of particle stopping in matter is essential for nuclear fusion and high energy density science. Here, the authors report one order of magnitude enhancement of intense laser-accelerated proton beam stopping in dense ionized matter in comparison with currently used models describing ion stopping in matter.

    • Jieru Ren
    • , Zhigang Deng
    •  & Yongtao Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Triuranium disilicide fuel and silicon carbide cladding system is of importance for accident tolerance fuel initiative. Here the authors discuss the role of interface interaction between the U3Si2 fuel and SiC cladding in their use as an advanced concept in light water reactors.

    • Vancho Kocevski
    • , Denise A. Lopes
    •  & Theodore M. Besmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The influence of contaminants is one of the factors hindering self-sustained thermonuclear burn in inertial confinement fusion. Here, the authors present evidence, through simulations and experiments, that contaminants do not fully reach thermal equilibrium, and thus their amount is usually underestimated.

    • Brian M. Haines
    • , R. C. Shah
    •  & D. W. Schmidt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nuclear reactors can be used for energy generation or for dangerous weapons and therefore their monitoring is crucial. Here the authors discuss detecting antineutrino from a nuclear reactor and use it for nuclear safeguards in a diversion scenario.

    • Christopher Stewart
    • , Abdalla Abou-Jaoude
    •  & Anna Erickson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The larger particulates from reactor Unit 1 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant have received sparse attention compared to the Unit 2 particulate. Here the authors perform the higher-resolution and 3-dimentional analysis of several high-density micron-scale fragments, from within a larger Unit 1-derived representative ejecta particle.

    • Peter G. Martin
    • , Marion Louvel
    •  & Thomas B. Scott
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the occurrence of sudden changes in plasma parameters is important for the operation of magnetically confined fusion devices. Here the authors use simulation to shed light on the formation of abrupt large-amplitude events and the associated redistribution of energetic ions in a tokamak.

    • Andreas Bierwage
    • , Kouji Shinohara
    •  & Masatoshi Yagi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Uranium extraction is important for both uranium recovery and nuclear waste management. Here, inspired by the high sensitivity of proteins towards specific metal ions, Ma and colleagues demonstrate that introducing secondary coordination spheres into amidoxime-functionalized porous polymers can enhance their uranyl chelating abilities.

    • Qi Sun
    • , Briana Aguila
    •  & Shengqian Ma
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Authenticating a nuclear warhead without revealing its design is a challenge. Here the authors discuss a nuclear disarmament verification method based on neutron resonance analysis which is sensitive to the isotopic composition of the materials used in warheads.

    • Jake J. Hecla
    •  & Areg Danagoulian
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Capturing radioactive organic iodides from nuclear waste is important for safe nuclear energy usage, but remains a significant challenge. Here, Li and co-workers fabricate a stable metal–organic framework functionalized with tertiary amine groups that exhibits high capacities for radioactive organic iodides uptake.

    • Baiyan Li
    • , Xinglong Dong
    •  & Jing Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Vapour shielding is one of the interesting mechanisms for reducing the heat load to plasma facing components in fusion reactors. Here the authors report on the observation of a dynamic equilibrium between the plasma and the divertor liquid Sn surface leading to an overall stable surface temperature.

    • G. G. van Eden
    • , V. Kvon
    •  & T. W. Morgan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nuclear-grade graphite is an important high-temperature structural material for fission reactors. Here, the authors perform simultaneous X-ray tomography and mechanical testing on a nuclear-grade graphite, finding simultaneous improvement of strength and toughness at elevated temperatures which they attribute primarily to reduction of residual tensile stresses in the as-made material.

    • Dong Liu
    • , Bernd Gludovatz
    •  & Robert O. Ritchie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Crystalline uraninite is believed to be the dominant form in uranium deposits. Here, the authors find that non-crystalline U(IV) generated through biologically mediated U(VI) reduction is the predominant U(IV)species in ore deposits, implying that biogenic processes are more important than previously thought.

    • Amrita Bhattacharyya
    • , Kate M. Campbell
    •  & Thomas Borch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Early stellarator designs suffered from high particle losses, an issue that can be addressed by optimization of the coils. Here the authors measure the magnetic field lines in the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator, confirming that the complicated design of the superconducting coils has been realized successfully.

    • T. Sunn Pedersen
    • , M. Otte
    •  & Sandor Zoletnik