Bacteria found in nuclear reactors could be the secret to faster, cheaper vaccines

Scientists have called the extremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans “a robust generalist” capable of persevering amid prolonged exposure to everything from toxic chemicals and corrosive acids to desiccating desert heat and subzero temperatures. Colonies of the bacteria have been found occupying the coolant water tanks of nuclear reactors and thriving on the weathered granite of Antarctica’s dry valleys. They have faced exposure to solar radiation and the vacuum of space onboard a European Space Agency satellite and have survived punishing simulations of life on Mars at the German Aerospace Center in Cologne.

Nuclear-powered rockets could hold key to faster spaceships

An artist’s impression of what a nuclear thermal ship built to take humans to Mars could look like. Photo: NASA

There are a lot of reasons that a faster spaceship is a better one, and nuclear-powered rockets are a way to achieve this, according to an article posted on the Conversation website on May 20.

Oak Ridge developing 3D-printed nuclear reactor core

3D-printed components for the prototype reactor. Photo: Britanny Cramer/ORNL/U.S. Department of Energy

A 3D-printed nuclear reactor core prototype being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a step toward reaching the goal of creating an advanced, full-sized, 3D-printed reactor by 2023 at the lab.