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+ - Particle physics to aid nuclear cleanup->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Cosmic rays can help scientists do something no one else can: safely image the interior of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.... [M]uon tomography, is similar to taking an X-ray, only it uses naturally produced muons. These particles don’t damage the imaged materials and, because they already stream through everything on Earth, they can be used to image even the most sensitive objects. Better yet, a huge amount of shielding is needed to stop muons from passing through an object, making it nearly impossible to hide from muon tomography.

“Everything around you is constantly being radiographed by muons,” says Christopher Morris, who leads the Los Alamos muon tomography team. “All you have to do is set some detectors above and below it, and measure the angles well enough to make a picture.”

By determining how muons scatter as they interact with electrons and nuclei within the item, the team’s software creates a three-dimensional picture of what’s inside.... To prove the technology, the Los Alamos team shipped a demo detector system to a small, working nuclear reactor in a Toshiba facility in Kawasaki, Japan. There, they placed one detector on either side of the reactor core.

“When we analyzed our data we discovered that in addition to the fuel in the reactor core, they had put a few fuel bundles off to the side that we didn’t know about,” says Morris. “They were really impressed that not only could we image the core, but that we also found those bundles.”

Based on that successful test, Toshiba signed an agreement with Los Alamos and later with Decision Sciences to design and manufacture muon-detector components for use at Fukushima Daiichi."

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Comment: Re:On site transmutation (Score 1) 168

by mdsolar (#47783027) Attached to: New NRC Rule Supports Indefinite Storage of Nuclear Waste
Well, I've tried to make clear that your claims about energy requirements and accelerator size are off, but you won't listen. It appears you don't know much about high energy physics and want to do giant things when something much smaller is required. So, really it is your mistakes that are the problem here. You can't see that the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is much different from the BEVALAC. You want to use a 747 to drive to the store.

+ - Cooling canals at Turkey Point nuclear power plant still too hot->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Florida Power & Light needs millions more gallons of freshwater to manage cooling canals that keep two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point from overheating, company officials said in an emergency request to the South Florida Water Management District.

The hot canals do not pose a safety risk, federal regulators have said, but they have forced the utility to dial back operations over the scorching summer.

So with the heat showing no sign of easing, could brownouts be far off?

“We have record electricity demand and what we’re doing is taking proactive action to make sure we can effectively manage the situation in an environmentally responsible way while maintaining reliability for our customers,” said FPL spokesman Michael Waldron.

To cool the canals, the Water Management District on Thursday authorized pumping up to 100 million gallons of water a day from a nearby canal system, but only if it doesn’t take too much water stored for Everglades restoration. The canals carry freshwater to Biscayne Bay and tamp down salinity, which can fuel algae blooms and harm marine life.

The 100 million gallons would be in addition to 14 million gallons a day from the Floridan aquifer that water managers approved in June, after high temperatures threatened to shut down the reactors."

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Comment: Re:On site transmutation (Score 1) 168

by mdsolar (#47780041) Attached to: New NRC Rule Supports Indefinite Storage of Nuclear Waste
Beam luminosity increases in response to detector capability. No big issue there. The Bevatron power draw has something to do with not using super conducting magnets as well. The main thing is that it is not big and can be run by a single graduate assistant on the night shift. Recall also that wind power sells for $0.025 per kWh and solar will come in below that soon. Don't forget also that the nuke nuts (oops fanbois) are always going on about how much the first step will reduce the mass of the waste. Don't be so worried.

"Our reruns are better than theirs." -- Nick at Nite