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2020 ANS Annual Meeting
June 8–11, 2020
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
U.S. nuclear capacity factors: Resiliency and new realities
In the early years of the Nuclear News capacity factors survey, any factor over 70 was deemed excellent; any factor under 50 was considered poor. By that standard, all but two operating U.S. power reactors chalked up excellent performance during 2017–2019. A record 809.4 TWh of electricity was generated in the United States from nuclear energy in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), besting the record of 807.1 TWh set in 2018.
Nuclear News staff developed the capacity factors survey in the early 1980s as a way to identify the most productive reactors in an expanding fleet. Fleet improvement was the industry’s self-identified goal, but no one could anticipate the startlingly rapid pace of improvement, spurred by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), which boosted fleetwide performance to highs that continue today.
Item ID: 800015|ISBN: 978*1461493372
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This book provides readers with an introductory understanding of Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC), a type of fusion meant to retain plasma using an electrostatic field. IEC provides a unique approach for plasma confinement, as it offers a number of spin-off applications, such as a small neutron source for Neutron Activity Analysis (NAA), that all work towards creating fusion power. The IEC has been identified in recent times as an ideal fusion power unit because of its ability to burn aneutronic fuels like p-B11 as a result of its non-Maxwellian plasma dominated by beam-like ions. This type of fusion also takes place in a simple mechanical structure small in size, which also contributes to its viability as a source of power. This book posits that the ability to study the physics of IEC in very small volume plasmas makes it possible to rapidly investigate a design to create a power-producing device on a much larger scale. Along with this hypothesis the book also includes a conceptual experiment proposed for demonstrating breakeven conditions for using p-B11 in a hydrogen plasma simulation.