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Nuclear power

Is This New 50-Year Battery for Real?

Wouldn't it be cool if you never had to charge your cell phone? I'm sure that's what a lot of people were thinking recently, when a company called BetaVolt said it had developed a coin-sized “nuclear battery” that would last for 50 years. Is it for real? Yes it is. Will you be able to buy one of these forever phones anytime soon? Probably not, unfortunately, because—well, physics. Let's see why.All batteries do the same thing: They produce an electric current to do some kind of work. But energy isn't free. If that work is…

Russia’s space-based anti-satellite weapon

News reports speculating about what the weapon could be abounded after Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, released a cryptic but alarming statement on February 14, 2024, regarding the information, which he framed as a “serious national security threat.” Some sources suggested a nuclear weapon. Others suspect a weapon that is nuclear-powered but not a nuclear warhead.The White House confirmed the following day that the Russian system under development is a space-based…

Ignace, Ont., group was in Finland to tour world’s 1st long-term nuclear waste repository at NWMO’s expense

After travelling across the Atlantic Ocean and taking an elevator hundreds of metres underground, it's hard for Jodie Defeo to put into words what it was like to be among a handful of people in Finland to take in the world's first long-term geological repository for spent nuclear fuel."It was large. It was very cavernous. There was room for large-scale trucks to manoeuvre in these tunnels," Defeo, one of four councillors in the small northwestern Ontario township of Ignace, said about the facility.Defeo was among a…

The First Small-Scale Nuclear Plant in the US Died Before It Could Live

The plan for the first small-scale US nuclear reactor was exciting, ambitious, and unusual from the get-go. In 2015, a group of city- and county-run utilities across the Mountain West region announced that they were betting on a new frontier of nuclear technology: a mini version of a conventional plant called a “small modular reactor” (SMR).Advocates said the design, just 9 feet in diameter and 65 feet tall, was poised to resurrect the US nuclear industry, which has delivered only two completed reactors this century. It…

What Was the Manhattan Project?

The Manhattan Project was a top-secret program to make the first atomic bombs during World War II. Its results had profound impacts on history: the subsequent nuclear arms race has radically changed the political world order in ways that are still evident today. Thousands of scientists, including theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, took part in the Manhattan Project, often while they and their families were lodged at secret military bases in remote locations. It resulted in the two atomic bombs dropped on the…

All Systems Go for Fukushima Radioactive Wastewater Release

Everything is in place to begin dumping treated radioactive wastewater from Japan’s destroyed Fukushima Daiichi power plant into the ocean, according to the plant’s operator. The plan to do so has been in the works for years, as irradiated water has accumulated in the aftermath of 2011's earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear meltdown. But now the wastewater release appears imminent.Is Google's New $1,800 Pixel Phone Worth It? | Gizmodo ReviewOn Monday, Tokyo Electric Power Holdings (TEPCO) said it had completed…

U.S. Support for Nuclear Power Soars

This story was originally published by Grist. Sign up for Grist’s weekly newsletter here.This Summer’s Hottest UmbrellaA Gallup survey released in late April found that 55 percent of U.S. adults support the use of nuclear power. That’s up four percentage points from last year and reflects the highest level of public support for nuclear energy use in electricity since 2012.The survey found that Republicans are more likely to favor nuclear energy than Democrats, consistent with previous Gallup polls. Experts say that…

World Leaders Agree to Boost Nuclear Power, While Germany Shuts Its Plants

Some of the world’s largest most influential nations have formed an alliance to create new supply chains for nuclear energy—the same weekend that another country announced it had completely weaned itself off the energy source.This Summer’s Hottest UmbrellaAt the meeting of the G7 this weekend, leaders of nuclear trade associations from the U.S., UK, Canada, Japan, and France announced they will work together to create supply chains for nuclear fuels that do not rely on Russia.When it comes to nuclear fuel, Russia’s supply…

Will Humans Ever Go Extinct?

The species Homo sapiens evolved some 300,000 years ago and has come to dominate Earth unlike any species that came before. But how long can humans last? Eventually humans will go extinct. At the most wildly optimistic estimate, our species will last perhaps another billion years but end when the expanding envelope of the sun swells outward and heats the planet to a Venus-like state. But a billion years is a long time. One billion years ago life on Earth consisted of microbes. Multicellular life didn’t make its debut…