Portal:Nuclear technology

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This symbol of radioactivity is internationally recognized.
Nuclear technology is technology that involves the nuclear reactions of atomic nuclei. Among the notable nuclear technologies are nuclear reactors, nuclear medicine and nuclear weapons. It is also used, among other things, in smoke detectors and gun sights.
Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat, which most frequently is then used in steam turbines to produce electricity in a nuclear power plant. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions.

Presently, the vast majority of electricity from nuclear power is produced by nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium. Nuclear decay processes are used in niche applications such as radioisotope thermoelectric generators. Generating electricity from fusion power remains at the focus of international research. This article mostly deals with nuclear fission power for electricity generation.

Civilian nuclear power supplied 2,488 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2017, equivalent to about 10% of global electricity generation, and was the second largest low-carbon power source after hydroelectricity. As of April 2018, there are 449 civilian fission reactors in the world, with a combined electrical capacity of 394 gigawatt (GW). There are also 58 nuclear power reactors under construction and 154 reactors planned, with a combined capacity of 63 GW and 157 GW, respectively. As of January 2019, 337 more reactors were proposed. Most reactors under construction are generation III reactors in Asia.

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Alabama Ordnance Works (1).jpg
The P-9 Project was the codename given during World War II to the Manhattan Project's heavy water production program. The Cominco plant at Trail, British Columbia, was upgraded to produce heavy water. DuPont built three plants in the United States: at the Morgantown Ordnance Works, near Morgantown, West Virginia; at the Wabash River Ordnance Works, near Dana and Newport, Indiana; and at the Alabama Ordnance Works, near Childersburg and Sylacauga, Alabama. The American plants operated from 1943 until 1945. The Canadian plant at Trail continued in operation until 1956. Three nuclear reactors were built using the heavy water produced by the P-9 Project: Chicago Pile 3 at Argonne, and ZEEP and NRX at the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada.

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Trinity Test - Oppenheimer and Groves at Ground Zero 002.jpg
Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

In September 1945, many participants returned to the Trinity Test site for news crews. Here Oppenheimer and Groves examine the remains of one the bases of the steel test tower.

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James Edward Westcott (January 20, 1922 – March 29, 2019) was an American photographer who was noted for his work with the United States government in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.

As one of the few people permitted to have a camera in the Oak Ridge area during the Manhattan Project, he created the main visual record of the construction and operation of the Oak Ridge production facilities and of civilian life in the enclosed community of Oak Ridge.

Nuclear technology news

19 September 2019 – Fukushima nuclear disaster
The only prosecution concerning the 2011 nuclear catastrophe ends with the acquittal of three former Tepco executives. The decision means nobody has been held criminally responsible for the meltdown. Greenpeace says the verdict is not very surprising, since the case was "hugely political". (Al Jazeera)
10 September 2019 – Fukushima disaster cleanup
As Tepco says that, by 2022, it will run out of storage room for what is now more than 1 million tonnes of radioactively contaminated reactor core cooling water, Japanese Minister of the Environment Yoshiaki Harada opines that "the only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it". (Reuters)
9 September 2019 – Nuclear program of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia says it experiments with two nuclear reactors and wants to go ahead with the "full nuclear cycle", implying also uranium enrichment. The United States states they would like to pursue a Section 123 Agreement to accompany the transfer of U.S. technology. (Reuters)
7 September 2019 – Nuclear program of Iran
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announces it has activated the research and development of new uranium enrichment centrifuges. It is the third breach of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement from which the United States withdrew last year, reimposing U.S. sanctions on Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has recently stated his country will reimplement the agreement only if the remaining parties also do so, giving them two extra months. (Deutsche Welle)

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