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Nuclear energy

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Energy that originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. This is distinct from a process called fusion where energy is released when atomic nuclei combine or fuse.

PPPL inventors win award for device that creates medical isotope vital for diagnosing diseases

Charles Gentile, an engineer at PPPL, and fellow inventors George Ascione and Adam Cohen won third prize at Princeton University Keller Center’s 11th Annual Innovation Forum on Feb. 24 for their invention of an on-demand method to create a badly needed isotope used routinely in medical imaging for diagnosis.

PPPL researchers advance understanding of plasma turbulence that drains heat from fusion reactors

The life of a subatomic particle can be hectic. The charged nuclei and electrons that zip around the vacuum vessels of doughnut-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks are always in motion. But while that motion helps produce the fusion reactions that could power a new class of electricity generator, the turbulence it generates can also limit those reactions.

Developing the digital safeguard that protects the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade at PPPL

As the most powerful spherical tokamak in the world, the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) produces magnetic forces that are far greater than what its predecessor could generate. Moreover, the power supply system that drives current in the fusion facility’s electromagnetic coils can potentially produce even higher forces unless properly constrained.

Developing the digital safeguard that protects the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade at PPPL

As the most powerful spherical tokamak in the world, the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) produces magnetic forces that are far greater than what its predecessor could generate. Moreover, the power supply system that drives current in the fusion facility’s electromagnetic coils can potentially produce even higher forces unless properly constrained.

Von Hippel, at PPPL, calls for international control of nuclear enrichment

The world’s nuclear enrichment programs should be under international control to prevent the development of nuclear weapons after the new arms deal with Iran expires in 10 to 15 years, said Frank von Hippel, a senior Princeton University research physicist and a former security advisor during the Clinton Administration.

“We have 10 to 15 years to strengthen the non-proliferation machine,” von Hippel said, speaking at the Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday public lecture Jan. 30 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

COLLOQUIUM: Inherently Risky Designs? The History of Soviet Nuclear Reactors and the Notion of Safety

After the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986, many asked the question why Soviet nuclear experts chose the RBMK (the “Chernobyl-type reactor”) as a standard design for implementation all over the Soviet Union. This talk will show that the choice of reactor designs rarely follows strictly technical criteria: designs are chosen not because they are the best or most functional ones available.

PPPL engineers complete the design of Wendelstein 7-X scraper unit

Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have finished designing a novel component for the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator, which recently opened at the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Griefswald, Germany. Known as a "test divertor unit (TDU) scraper element," the component intercepts some of the heat flowing towards the divertor — a part of the machine that collects heat and particles as they escape from the plasma before they hit the stellarator wall or degrade the plasma's performance.

PPPL engineers complete the design of Wendelstein 7-X scraper unit

Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have finished designing a novel component for the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator, which recently opened at the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Griefswald, Germany. Known as a "test divertor unit (TDU) scraper element," the component intercepts some of the heat flowing towards the divertor — a part of the machine that collects heat and particles as they escape from the plasma before they hit the stellarator wall or degrade the plasma's performance.

PPPL physicists simulate innovative method for starting up tokamaks without using a solenoid

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have produced self-consistent computer simulations that capture the evolution of an electric current inside fusion plasma without using a central electromagnet, or solenoid. The simulations of the process, known as non-inductive current ramp-up, were performed using TRANSP, the gold-standard code developed at PPPL. The results were published in October 2015 in Nuclear Fusion. The research was supported by the DOE Office of Science.

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