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Decommissioning & Environmental Sciences
The mission of the Decommissioning and Environmental Sciences (DES) Division is to promote the development and use of those skills and technologies associated with the use of nuclear energy and the optimal management and stewardship of the environment, sustainable development, decommissioning, remediation, reutilization, and long-term surveillance and maintenance of nuclear-related installations, and sites. The target audience for this effort is the membership of the Division, the Society, and the public at large.
Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2023)
February 6–9, 2023
Amelia Island, FL|Omni Amelia Island Resort
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Nuclear energy: enabling production of food, fiber, hydrocarbon biofuels, and negative carbon emissions
In the 1960s, Alvin Weinberg at Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated a series of studies on nuclear agro-industrial complexes1 to address the needs of the world’s growing population. Agriculture was a central component of these studies, as it must be. Much of the emphasis was on desalination of seawater to provide fresh water for irrigation of crops. Remarkable advances have lowered the cost of desalination to make that option viable in countries like Israel. Later studies2 asked the question, are there sufficient minerals (potassium, phosphorous, copper, nickel, etc.) to enable a prosperous global society assuming sufficient nuclear energy? The answer was a qualified “yes,” with the caveat that mineral resources will limit some technological options. These studies were defined by the characteristic of looking across agricultural and industrial sectors to address multiple challenges using nuclear energy.
Tyler R. Steiner, Richard H. Howard
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 11 | November 2022 | Pages 1745-1755
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2022.2072652
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A high-temperature, steady-state, in-pile experiment was developed to simulate prototypical nuclear thermal propulsion conditions. The experimental development of the resistively heated test apparatus involved spatially scaling the device to a larger heated region from a previous smaller out-of-pile prototype. A series of tests and investigations were conducted to replicate the smaller out-of-pile system’s success of achieving 2500 K. However, limitations within the larger assembly were identified; specifically, the heater filament design does not scale well. The larger assembly can reliably generate usable temperature levels from room temperature up to those exceeding 1300 K for hours. It can briefly sustain a usable 1800 K. The larger system is achieving temperatures over 2500 K, but these are localized and unable to be monitored in the current design. The achieved temperature levels remain suitable for testing various components considered for a nuclear thermal rocket. However, due to the limitations of the current heater filament, it is recommended that the apparatus be redesigned to utilize a rigid heating element similar to that used during the Radioisotope Propulsion Technology Program (Project POODLE) in the 1960s.