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Isotopes & Radiation
Members are devoted to applying nuclear science and engineering technologies involving isotopes, radiation applications, and associated equipment in scientific research, development, and industrial processes. Their interests lie primarily in education, industrial uses, biology, medicine, and health physics. Division committees include Analytical Applications of Isotopes and Radiation, Biology and Medicine, Radiation Applications, Radiation Sources and Detection, and Thermal Power Sources.
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April 8–10, 2021
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Fukiushima Daiichi: 10 years on
The Fukushima Daiichi site before the accident. All images are provided courtesy of TEPCO unless noted otherwise.
It was a rather normal day back on March 11, 2011, at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant before 2:45 p.m. That was the time when the Great Tohoku Earthquake struck, followed by a massive tsunami that caused three reactor meltdowns and forever changed the nuclear power industry in Japan and worldwide. Now, 10 years later, much has been learned and done to improve nuclear safety, and despite many challenges, significant progress is being made to decontaminate and defuel the extensively damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactor site. This is a summary of what happened, progress to date, current situation, and the outlook for the future there.
Edward I. Moses et al.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 56 | Number 2 | August 2009 | Pages 547-565
Fusion Technology Plenary | Eighteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (Part 2) | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-34
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The National Ignition Facility (NIF), a laser-based Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiment designed to achieve thermonuclear fusion ignition and burn in the laboratory, will soon be completed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Experiments designed to accomplish the NIF's goal will commence in 2010, using laser energies of 1 to 1.3 MJ. Fusion yields of the order of 10 to 35 MJ are expected soon thereafter. We propose that a laser system capable of generating fusion yields of 35 to 75 MJ at 10 to 15 Hz (i.e., [almost equal to] 350- to 1000-MW fusion and [almost equal to] 1.3 to 3.6 x 1020 n/s), coupled to a compact subcritical fission blanket, could be used to generate several GW of thermal power (GWth) while avoiding carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating nuclear proliferation concerns and minimizing the concerns associated with nuclear safety and long-term nuclear waste disposition. This Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) based system is a logical extension of the NIF laser and the yields expected from the early ignition experiments on NIF. The LIFE concept is a once-through, self-contained closed fuel cycle and would have the following characteristics: (1) eliminate the need for uranium enrichment; (2) utilize over 90% of the energy content of the nuclear fuel; (3) eliminate the need for spent fuel chemical separation facilities; (4) maintain the fission blanket subcritical at all times (keff <0.90); and (5) minimize future requirements for deep underground geological waste repositories and minimize actinide content in the end-of-life nuclear waste below the (the lowest). Options to burn natural or depleted U, Th, U/Th mixtures, Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) without chemical separations of weapons-attractive actinide streams, and excess weapons Pu or highly enriched U (HEU) are possible and under consideration. Because the fission blanket is always subcritical and decay heat removal is possible via passive mechanisms, the technology is inherently safe. Many technical challenges must be met, but a LIFE solution could provide a sustainable path for worldwide growth of nuclear power for electricity production and hydrogen generation.