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
New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective
14.12.2017 | The Optical Society
New ultra-thin diamond membrane is a radiobiologist's best friend
14.12.2017 | American Institute of Physics
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2017 | Life Sciences