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Latest Plutonium Stories

2012-02-16 14:55:17

Modern technology depends on reliable supplies of a wide variety of materials, but there is increasing concern about the dependability of those supplies. In the first detailed assessment of metal "criticality," a team of undergraduates, master's students and research staff led by Thomas Graedel, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Industrial Ecology, has codified a methodology that takes into account the risk of future scarcity and potential damage from shortages of metals in the periodic...

2012-02-06 15:34:57

Yale researchers have developed a methodology for governments and corporations to determine the availability of critical metals, according to a paper in Environmental Science & Technology. In "Methodology of Metal Criticality Determination," the researchers evaluate the importance of scarce metals using a methodology that determines their supply risk, environmental implications, and vulnerability to supply restriction. "In the past few years, a number of organizations have attempted...

2011-12-20 22:29:26

Caltech researchers obtain highest-pressure vibrational spectrum of iron Identifying the composition of the earth's core is key to understanding how our planet formed and the current behavior of its interior. While it has been known for many years that iron is the main element in the core, many questions have remained about just how iron behaves under the conditions found deep in the earth. Now, a team led by mineral-physics researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)...

2011-11-07 17:01:09

Caltech Engineers Reveal How Scandium Trifluoride Contracts with Heat They shrink when you heat 'em. Most materials expand when heated, but a few contract. Now engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have figured out how one of these curious materials, scandium trifluoride (ScF3), does the trick–a finding, they say, that will lead to a deeper understanding of all kinds of materials. The researchers, led by graduate student Chen Li, published their results in...

2011-11-04 12:44:43

As a first line of defense, steel barrels buried deep underground are designed to keep dangerous plutonium waste from seeping into the soil and surrounding bedrock, and, eventually, contaminating the groundwater. But after several thousand years, those barrels will naturally begin to disintegrate due to corrosion. A team of scientists at Argonne National Lab (ANL) in Argonne, Ill., has determined what may happen to this toxic waste once its container disappears. "We want to be sure that...

2011-08-16 05:05:00

A small spike in radioactive sulfur from Japan's crippled nuclear plant was detected in southern California between March 22 and April 1, according to the first quantitative measurement of the amount of radiation leaked from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant. However, scientists say the amount of radiation, while higher than normal background levels, was too small to pose health threats. "The levels we recorded aren't a concern for human health. In fact, it took sensitive instruments,...

2011-07-01 13:10:07

After Fukushima, it is now imperative to redefine what makes a successful nuclear power program - from cradle to grave. If nuclear waste management is not thought out from the beginning, the public in many countries will reject nuclear power as an energy choice, according to research that appears today in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE. According to Allison Macfarlane, associate professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University, and a member of...

2011-06-09 14:07:41

Mainz has the most powerful source of ultracold neutrons, opening up the possibility of conducting a key experiment to determine the life time of the neutron Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have built what is currently the strongest source of ultracold neutrons. Ultracold neutrons (UCNs) were first generated here five years ago. They are much slower than thermal neutrons and are characterized by the fact that they can be stored in special containers. This property...

2011-04-15 18:25:32

Easy-to-follow recipes for radioactive compounds like those found in nuclear fuel storage pools, liquid waste containment areas and other contaminated aqueous environments have been developed by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories. "The need to understand the chemistry of these compounds has never been more urgent, and these recipes facilitate their study," principal investigator May Nyman said of her group's success in encouraging significant amounts of relevant compounds to...

2011-02-20 22:07:31

Time has come revive long-dormant reprocessing program Failure to pursue a program for recycling spent nuclear fuel has put the U.S. far behind other countries and represents a missed opportunity to enhance the nation's energy security and influence other countries, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Sunday. Dale Klein, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Texas System, said largely unfounded concerns and "long-held myths" about the...


Word of the Day
drawcansir
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.
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