After its long journey to Mars beginning this summer, NASA’s Perseverance rover will be powered across the planet’s surface in part by plutonium produced at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Lithium, the silvery metal that powers smart phones and helps treat bipolar disorders, could also play a significant role in the worldwide effort to harvest on Earth the safe, clean and virtually limitless fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.
Juergen Rapp, a distinguished R&D staff scientist in ORNL’s Fusion Energy Division in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate, has been named a fellow of the American Nuclear Society
Temperatures hotter than the center of the sun. Magnetic fields hundreds of thousands of times stronger than the earth’s. Neutrons energetic enough to change the structure of a material entirely.
The techniques Theodore Biewer and his colleagues are using to measure whether plasma has the right conditions to create fusion have been around awhile.
With the production of 50 grams of plutonium-238, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have restored a U.S. capability dormant for nearly 30 years and set the course to provide power for NASA and other missions.
When it’s up and running, the ITER fusion reactor will be very big and very hot, with more than 800 cubic meters of hydrogen plasma reaching 170 million degrees centigrade. The systems that fuel and control it, on the other hand, will be small and very cold. Pellets of frozen gas will be shot int...