Lasrick writes: A look at cost estimates of nuclear power plant decommissioning from the 1980s, and how widely inaccurate they turned out to be. This is a pretty fascinating look at past articles in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that consistently downplayed the costs of decommissioning, for example: 'The Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Rowe, Massachusetts, took 15 years to decommission—or five times longer than was needed to build it. And decommissioning the plant—constructed early in the 1960s for $39 million—cost $608 million. The plant’s spent fuel rods are still stored in a facility on-site, because there is no permanent disposal repository to put them in. To monitor them and make sure the material does not fall into the hands of terrorists or spill into the nearby river costs $8 million per year.'
from the comforting-bremsstrahlung-glow dept.
shmG writes "As the US moves to reduce dependence on oil, the nuclear industry is looking to expand, with new designs making their way through the regulatory process. No less than three new configurations for nuclear power are being considered for licensing by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first of them could be generating power in Georgia by 2016."
from the drop-the-cloud-anchor dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA is looking to reduce the deadly impact of helicopter crashes on their pilots and passengers with what the agency calls a high-tech honeycomb airbag known as a deployable energy absorber. So in order to test out its technology NASA dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether its deployable energy absorber, made up of an expandable honeycomb cushion, could handle the stress. The test crash hit the ground at about 54MPH at a 33 degree angle, what NASA called a relatively severe helicopter crash."
coondoggie writes: "As the military and occasionally commercial aviation researchers look to fly aircraft higher, farther and faster — much faster, sonic booms such planes can create can cause problems on the ground.
That's why NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) this week announced a partnership to jointly research sonic boom. NASA said sonic boom modeling is one of the key technologies needed to let a next generation supersonic aircraft quiet enough that it can fly supersonically over land without significant disturbance to the people or damage to property under such noise.
The sonic boom work will include a look at what JAXA has done with its "Silent Supersonic Technology Demonstration Program" that is researching key technologies to realize a silent supersonic transport. JAXA's program looks at all manner of flight technologies — such as aircraft body and wing composition as well as wing design to reduce sonic booms. Because of sonic boom intensity, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits supersonic flight over land, except in special military flight corridors.
[spam URL stripped]" Link to Original Source
nicholas.m.carlson writes: "Fell better about your hovel. We've toured the top 10 workspaces in tech. Now Valleywag goes back to Office Snapshots to find the 10 worst. What makes them so bad? Some offend with exposed fluorescent lights, gray cubicles and a dystopian corporate sheen. But others, with their pseudo-hip graffiti, kindergarten toys and plastic decorations — all in a desperate attempt to seem "Internet-y" — come off even worse. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla and others."
bednarz writes: "Using water to cool servers certainly isn't a new idea, but it's gaining new converts. Rob Pennington, deputy director of the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications, says water cooling offers one huge advantage: power density. The NCSA's planned Blue Waters petascale computing machine will fit more than 200,000 cores in a space that's about twice the size of a current NCSA machine that has 9,600 cores, according to Pennington. "Water cooling makes it possible," Pennington says. "If we had to do air cooling, we'd be limited by how much air can be blown up through the floor.""
wawannem writes: "So, who said that Tesla Coils weren't practical? Well, add MIDI player to the list of practical applications. Watch this amazing video of a Tesla Coil built by a few college kids that plays music. FTA —
This is a solid-state Tesla coil. The primary runs at its resonant frequency in the 41 KHz range, and is modulated from the control unit in order to generate the tones you hear... it is the actual high voltage sparks that are making the noise. Every cycle of the music is a burst of sparks at 41 KHz, triggered by digital circuitry at the end of a "long" piece of fiber optics."