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Category: Nuclear power and reactors

Seeing the plasma edge of fusion experiments in new ways with artificial intelligence | MIT News
January 5, 2022

To make fusion energy a viable resource for the world’s energy grid, researchers need to understand the turbulent motion of plasmas: a mix of ions and electrons swirling around in reactor vessels. The plasma particles, following magnetic field lines in toroidal chambers known as tokamaks, must be confined long enough for fusion devices to produce significant gains in net energy, a challenge when the hot edge of the...

Helping to make nuclear fusion a reality | MIT News
January 3, 2022

Up until she served in the Peace Corps in Malawi, Rachel Bielajew was open to a career reboot. Having studied nuclear engineering as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, graduate school had been on her mind. But seeing the drastic impacts of climate change play out in real-time in Malawi — the lives of the country’s subsistence farmers swing wildly, depending on the rains — convinced Bielajew...

Electrochemistry, from batteries to brains | MIT News
November 16, 2021

Bilge Yildiz’s research impacts a wide range of technologies. The members of her lab study fuel cells, which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity (and water). They study electrolyzers, which go the other way, using electricity to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. They study batteries. They study corrosion. They even study computers that attempt to mimic the way the brain processes information in learning....

Radio-frequency wave scattering improves fusion simulations | MIT News
November 11, 2021

In the quest for fusion energy, understanding how radio-frequency (RF) waves travel (or “propagate”) in the turbulent interior of a fusion furnace is crucial to maintaining an efficient, continuously operating power plant. Transmitted by an antenna in the doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber common to magnetic confinement fusion devices called tokamaks, RF waves heat the plasma fuel and drive its current around the toroidal...

Q&A: Options for the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant | MIT News
November 9, 2021

The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California, the only one still operating in the state, is set to close in 2025. A team of researchers at MIT’s Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems, Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab, and Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research; Stanford’s Precourt Energy Institute; and energy analysis firm LucidCatalyst LLC have analyzed the potential benefits the plant...

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