Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sustainable nuclear energy moves a step closer

12.12.2006
In the future a new generation of nuclear reactors will create energy, while producing virtually no long-lasting nuclear waste, according to research conducted by Wilfred van Rooijen, who will receive his Delft University of Technology PhD degree based on this research subject on Tuesday, 12 December.

Wilfred van Rooijen's research, conducted at the Reactor Institute Delft, focused on the nuclear fuel cycle and safety features of a Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR), one of the so-called 'fourth generation' nuclear reactor designs. These designs have a sustainable character: they are economical in their use of nuclear fuel and are capable of rendering a great deal of their own nuclear waste harmless. The ability to actually build such reactors is however still in the very distant future.

The fourth generation GFR uses helium as a coolant at high temperatures. GFR's ultimate objective is to create a closed nuclear fuel cycle, in which only natural uranium is used as a raw material and in which the resulting waste consists of only nuclear fission products. Uranium and heavier isotopes, such as plutonium and americum, are recycled in the reactor and ultimately burned up (fissioned). In the reactors in use today, these heavy isotopes determine the long-term radioactivity of the nuclear waste. A closed nuclear fuel cycle therefore allows for maximum use of the raw materials, while at the same time substantially reducing the life-span of the waste.

This PhD research showed that it is possible to obtain a closed nuclear fuel cycle with a GFR. It also revealed that the GFR could use the waste materials of other light water reactors (LWR). The Gas-cooled Fast Reactor can therefore serve as an 'incinerator' of nuclear waste.

To increase the GFR's safety, special elements have been designed to automatically shut down the reactor during incidents. Van Rooijen's research has shown that with these elements the reactor is capable of withstanding incidents without damage to the nuclear fuel.

Frank Nuijens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions
28.06.2017 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

nachricht New photoacoustic technique detects gases at parts-per-quadrillion level
28.06.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>