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Submission + - Tensions reignite over West Texas nuclear waste storage (fuelfix.com)

mdsolar writes: The years long fight over whether to build a nuclear waste storage facility in West Texas has touched off again over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to move ahead on the review process.

Earlier this month the federal government’s top-nuclear division wrote a letter to Waste Control Specialists, the Dallas-based company developing the waste facility, informing them that the agency would be beginning its environmental review of the project even though the company’s initial application remained incomplete.

“By starting the EIS process now, the NRC will be able to engage interested members of the public earlier and accord the public additional time to review the WCS license application,” the letter reads.

That prompted four environmental groups to write the NRC Wednesday, arguing it should dismiss the application because Congress never intended for a privately-owned facility to take possession of nuclear waste when it passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1982.

The facility proposed by Waste Control Specialists would be located in Andrews County, northwest of Midland on the Texas-New Mexico border. It would initially store 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel though has raised the prospect of increasing that volume to 40,000 metric tons – more than half the total waste from nuclear plants in this country.

Submission + - SPAM: Physicists Examine The Viability Of Spherical Tokamaks In Producing Energy

mdsolar writes: Nuclear fusion has been powering our sun for the past 4.5 billion years. Unlike fission — the process that powers our current nuclear facilities — fusion generates energy by fusing the nuclei of lighter atoms into heavier ones, and produces no long-term radioactive waste.

Imagine if we manage to replicate and miniaturize the process taking place in the core of stars. This would not only provide us a low-cost, clean and virtually limitless source of energy, it would also end our unsustainable reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

In a recent paper published in the journal Nuclear Fusion, a team of physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has detailed the design of a viable and efficient fusion device — one that already exists in an experimental form.

The spherical device, known as a “tokamak,” can contain high-energy, superheated plasma produced through nuclear fusion using relatively low and inexpensive magnetic fields. This, the researchers believe, makes it a leading candidate to complement the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor — a doughnut-shaped tokamak that 35 nations are building in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

The PPPL tokamaks spherical, “cored apple” design also allows tritium — a rare hydrogen isotope — to be created,

Link to Original Source

Submission + - F-104 Starfighters to launch CubeSats from Florida (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has an interesting story about how a famous 1950s jet is being repurposed for use in 2018. From TFA: "The F-104s will fly over the Atlantic Ocean, their pilots taking the jets to around 60,000ft, the jets climbing at an acute angle to give the rockets the right trajectory to leave the pull of the Earth’s gravity." A good read for fans of space and aeronautics.

Submission + - Mediterranean diet better for the heart than taking statins, major study suggest (telegraph.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A Mediterranean diet could be better than statins at reducing the risk of an early death for millions of Britons, research suggests.

Leading heart experts said patients should be prescribed the diet — rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil — before being put on drugs.

In the first major study to look at the impact of the Med diet on survival of heart patients, experts found it cut the chances of early death by 37 per cent.

Previous research has found just taking statins cuts mortality by 18 per cent. Experts said the figures were not directly comparable, and that many heart patients could get maximum benefit by doing both.

Submission + - EPA spills again in Colorado (washingtonexaminer.com)

schwit1 writes: The Environmental Protection is admitting to a spill from a treatment plant it set up after it dumped 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into a Colorado river last year.

The EPA said Thursday night that the spill happened on Tuesday, and officials are still attempting to determine how much and what metals were contained in the sludgy discharge, according to the Associated Press.

Submission + - DARPA Builds Pop-Up Supercomputer For AI Security Fight (datacenterdynamics.com)

judgecorp writes: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has knocked up a small, liquid cooled data center in just 29 hours for the Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC), in which AIs will try to hack each other for $2 million prize. The facility will contain seven supercomputers, to host the seven teams entered in the cyber battle, which takes place on 4 Augus at Def Con in Las Vegas.

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