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Actions taken to prevent nuclear and radiation accidents or to limit their consequences.

PPPL and Princeton demonstrate novel technique that may have applicability to future nuclear disarmament agreements

A system that can compare physical objects while potentially protecting sensitive information about the objects themselves has been demonstrated experimentally at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). This work, by researchers at Princeton University and PPPL, marks an initial confirmation of the application of a powerful cryptographic technique in the physical world.

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.

COLLOQUIUM: Technical Aspects of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

After 20 months of negotiation, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and the United States reached an agreement with Iran to constrain and verify its nuclear program, in exchange for relief from international sanctions. The constraints on Iran are unprecedented among non-proliferation agreements, as are the verification procedures. Iran will be required, for 15 years, to maintain an inventory of no more than 300 kg of uranium enriched to no more than 3.67%. It will be prevented from constructing a research reactor using natural uranium.

Panel ensures safe operation of the $94 million NSTX Upgrade

Like a new passenger jet or power plant, the National Spherical Torus Upgrade (NSTX-U) must be certified safe to operate. At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), the task of evaluating the safety of the $94 million upgrade belongs to the Activity Certification Committee (ACC), whose work remains ongoing. “This is a critical group,” said Adam Cohen, deputy director for operations at the Laboratory. “When you have a complex activity like the upgrade you need a standing committee to guarantee that it will run safely.”

Monumental effort: How a dedicated team completed a massive beam-box relocation for the NSTX upgrade

Your task: Take apart, decontaminate, refurbish, relocate, reassemble, realign and reinstall a 75-ton neutral beam box that will add a second beam box to the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) and double the experiment’s heating power. Oh, and while you’re at it, hoist the two-story tall box over a 22-foot wall.

Rob Goldston, Alex Glaser and Boaz Barak named among Foreign Policy magazine’s 100 top global thinkers

Editors of Foreign Policy magazine have named fusion physicist Rob Goldston, a Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences and former director of PPPL, to its list of  “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014.” The recognition, made Nov. 17 at a celebration in Washington, D.C., honored Goldston for his contributions to the field of nuclear arms control.

Bob Ellis designs a PPPL first: A 3D printed mirror for microwave launchers

When scientists at the Korea Supercomputing Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) facility needed a crucial new component, they turned to PPPL engineer Bob Ellis. His task: Design a water-cooled fixed mirror that can withstand high heat loads for up to 300 seconds while directing microwaves beamed from launchers to heat the plasma that fuels fusion reactions.


U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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