18-04-2016   -   Chemistry

Mon 18 Apr 2016. A new chemical method to clean contaminated groundwater. Researchers ran a series of experiments in a laboratory setting using water containing uranium present in contaminated groundwater at various sites in the United States as a legacy of Cold War-era processing and waste disposal activities associated with nuclear materials production. Calcium and phosphate work together chemically to immobilize uranium, which is shown to lead to increased cancer risk and liver damage in humans when ingested. More

  13-04-2016   -   Physics

Wed 13 Apr 2016. Light and sound waves used to control electron states. Physicists have combined light and sound to control electron states in an atom-like system, providing a new tool in efforts to move toward quantum-computing systems. New research was done on diamond topped with a layer of zinc oxide containing electrical conductors and performed at a temperature of 8 degrees Kelvin, just above absolute zero. The research focused on a goal of quantum-computing researchtaking advantage of defects in diamond known as nitrogen vacancy centers, where a nitrogen atom substitutes for a carbon atom adjacent to a missing carbon atom. These defects are, in effect, artificial atoms that can be used as qubits. More

  21-03-2016   -   Nuclear

Mon 21 Mar 2016. Air Data Can Be Used to Reconstruct Radiological Releases. New research demonstrates that experts can use data from air sampling technology to not only detect radiological releases, but to accurately quantify the magnitude and source of the release. This has applications for nuclear plant safety, nuclear security, and nuclear nonproliferation monitoring. More

  15-03-2016   -   Medicine

Thu 15 Mar 2016. Ultra-fast detection of breast density using MRT helps determine breast cancer risks. Researchers have developed a method for the precise measurement of breast density using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) examinations with the Dixon sequence for a better assessment of the risk, in addition to an earlier breast cancer diagnosis. A method was developed whereby an objective measurement of breast density, with fully automatic software and higher precision and reproducibility, has been detected, and showed that a prototype currently exists. It works practically at the touch of a button and only takes a few minutes. There is also no need to provide contrast material. More

  06-03-2016   -   Chemistry

Sun 6 Mar 2016. Researchers devise one-step process to convert carbon dioxide and water directly into renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels. This simple and inexpensive new sustainable fuels technology could potentially help limit global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make fuel. The process also reverts oxygen back into the system as a byproduct of the reaction, with a clear positive environmental impact. It is the first time light and heat are used to synthesize liquid hydrocarbons in a single stage reactor from carbon dioxide and water. Concentrated light drives the photochemical reaction, which generates high-energy intermediates and heat to drive thermochemical carbon-chain-forming reactions, thus producing hydrocarbons in a single-step process. More

  24-02-2016   -   Physics

Wed 24 Feb 2016. New record in nanoelectronics at ultralow temperatures. The first ever measurement of the temperature of electrons in a nanoelectronic device a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero was demonstrated. This is a notable achievement that has finally broken through the 4 millikelvin barrier, which has been the record in such structures for over 15 years. This breakthrough paves the way towards sub-millikelvin nanoelectronic circuits and is another step on the way to develop new quantum technologies including quantum computers and sensors. Quantum technologies use quantum mechanical effects to outperform any possible technology based only on classical physics. More

  27-01-2016   -   Physics

Wed 27 Jan 2016. Physicists develop a cooling system for the processors of the future. Researchers have found a solution to the problem of the overheating of active plasmonic components for high-speed data transfer in the optoelectronic microprocessors that are tens of thousands of times faster than the microprocessors currently in use today. It was demonstrated how to efficiently cool optoelectronic chips using industry-standard heatsinks despite the high heat generation in active plasmonic components. Based on the results of numerical simulations, it was concluded that if an optoelectronic chip with active plasmonic waveguides is placed in air, its temperature will increase by several hundred degrees Celsius, which will cause the device to malfunction. Multi-layered thermal interfaces of nano- and micrometer thickness, combined with simple cooling systems, can reduce the temperature of the chip from several hundred degrees to approximately ten degrees with respect to the ambient temperature. This opens the prospects for the implementation of high-performance optoelectronic microprocessors in a wide range of applications, including supercomputers and compact electronic devices. More

  21-12-2015   -   Chemistry

Mon 21 Dec 2015. A new course for extracting uranium from seawater. An ultra-high-resolution technique used for the first time to study polymer fibers that trap uranium in seawater may cause researchers to rethink the best methods to harvest this potential fuel for nuclear reactors. Despite the low concentration of uranium and the presence of many other metals extracted from seawater, reserachers were able to investigate the local atomic environment around uranium and better understand how it is bound by the polymer fibers using X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. More

  14-12-2015   -   Nuclear Energy

Mon 14 Dec 2015. Nuclear Waste Storage Sites in Rock Salt May be More Vulnerable Than Previously Thought. rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface container for radioactive waste, might not be as impermeable as thought or as capable of isolating nuclear waste from groundwater in the event that a capsule or storage vessel failed. A recent research has used field testing and 3-D micro-CT imaging of laboratory experiments to show that rock salt can become permeable. This new finding has implications for oil and gas operations, and, most notably, nuclear waste storage. More

  03-11-2015   -   Nuclear

Tue 3 Nov 2015. Chemical complexity promises improved structural alloys for next-gen nuclear energy. Designing alloys to withstand extreme environments is a fundamental challenge for materials scientists. Energy from radiation can create imperfections in alloys, so researchers are investigating ways to design structural materials that develop fewer, smaller flaws under irradiation. Advanced structural materials that can withstand radiation are a critical national need for nuclear reactor applications. Next-generation reactors will be expected to serve over longer lifetimes and withstand higher irradiation levels. More

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