Nuclear power is the best option today to deliver electric power in a sufficiently safe, economical, continuous and secure manner synergistic with supply from other carbon-free sources such as solar and wind. And the technology has been evolving since its birth during World War II.
The Conversation May 20, 2015
Transatomic Power, founded by NSE alums Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, is poised to build a new, better molten salt reactor. Their reactor will burn up to 96 percent of its fuel, compared with only four percent used by light-water reactors, and generate 75 times the electricity per ton of uranium.
Popular Science May 19, 2015
The School of Engineering has announced that 13 members of its faculty have been granted tenure by MIT, with appointments in seven of the eight academic departments in the School of Engineering. “This year’s group of newly tenured faculty is remarkable not only for its breadth, but for the quality of their research and teaching,” says Ian A. Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering. “These are truly outstanding people who have had an enormous impact on MIT and their fields, both through scholarship and through teaching and mentoring students.”
MIT News Office May 19, 2015
On 13 April at the American Physical Society meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, Danagoulian will present research on a cargo-screening technology that could enhance detection of uranium and plutonium in cargo.
MIT scientists are presenting a report at the American Association for the Advancement of Science that describes what they call America’s growing innovation deficit.
WGBH April 27, 2015
While agreeing that the framework agreement imposing limitations on the Iranian nuclear program is a positive and major step forward, a panel of leading science and security experts cautioned that a measure now moving through Congress will do little to addressa wide range of technical issues that must be resolved in the coming months.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists April 16, 2015
NSE graduate student Mingda Li, in collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Pennsylvania State University, measured a subatomic phenomenon called van Vleck magnetism, first predicted more than 60 years ago.
NSE’s R. Scott Kemp, a centrifuge expert who formerly worked at the State Department, says Fordo (nuclear plant in the Iranian desert) might enable Iran to acquire the fuel for a bomb in as little as three months.
New York Times April 3, 2015
NSE alum Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz are in technical negotiations taking place in Switzerland.
New York Times March 28, 2015
Japan’s continued commitment to nuclear energy will be important in reducing its carbon dioxide emissions and also in improving nuclear safety on a global scale, the head of MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering said.
Japan Times February 21, 2015
Transatomic Power, founded by NSE alums Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, has now raised $4.5 million since last summer.
BostInno February 10, 2015
MIT researchers have developed a new technique capable of producing highly detailed images of single proteins irrespective of the level of complexity in the structure and, more importantly, without the need for crystallisation.
AZOmaterials February 10, 2015
Researchers in MIT’s departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Nuclear Science and Engineering have figured out exactly which characteristics of a metal structure tend to foster this embrittlement in the presence of hydrogen.
Imperial Velley News February 8, 2015
Enabling innovation across the organization–especially open, collaborative, multidisciplinary innovation–is one of the key roles for senior leaders in a world of smart machines. Innovation — the Missing Dimension, by Lester and Piore explores the essence of innovation in new product development by examining a few truly novel products in different market areas.
Wall Street Journal January 23, 2015
Nuclear energy is suddenly fashionable — as new companies are looking to supplant the world's large, uranium-fueled nuclear reactors with kinds that use different fuels and coolants or perhaps even replace fission with fusion.
Bloomberg View January 20, 2015
Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).
Mario Manuel won the prestigious Rosenbluth award.
NSE alums Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie's battle against climate change.
NSE alum Leslie Dewans’ Transatomic, supoorted by Silicon Valley venture capitalists
A new type of fuel rod for nuclear reactors could boost power output as much as 17%. The rods, developed by nuclear engineering company Virginia-based Lightbridge, are shaped from zirconium/uranium alloy with a cross configuration and spiral shape that boosts their contact area with water. Upcoming tests will determine whether the new rods are safe
Whenever the first NASA astronauts arrive on Mars, they will likely have MIT to thank for the oxygen they breathe — and for the oxygen needed to burn rocket fuel that will launch them back home to Earth.
MIT’s fusion research team gained new life with Congressional restoration of $22.5 million in the 2014 US budget.
A team of NSE researchers has presented an alternative nuclear reactor — one that floats on water. Although floating nuclear reactors at sea have some benefits, there are concerns with surrounding marine life and terrorism threats in the context of a post-Fukushima world.
MIT’s prized fusion reactor was dead; its federal funding axed. Then its political allies went to work.
NSE alums’ startup tackles lowering the cost of nuclear energy.
Professor Kemp argues that the barriers to weapon acquisition today are not technological.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have proposed a tsunami-proof nuclear concept that combines current reactor technology with a rig similar to those used in oil and gas. MIT’s Jacopo Buongiorno outlines the benefits.
Two startups with roots in MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering are hoping to revive the nuclear power industry. Their technologies aim to solve issues that have bedeviled nuclear power for decades: safety, cost, and radioactive waste.
Professor Jacopo Buongiorno and a team from are working on a new power plant design could provide enhanced safety, easier siting, and centralized construction.
Both SMRs and thorium have features that make them more attractive than traditional plants. Although few countries are experimenting with the element, it is more abundant than uranium. The World Nuclear Association estimates the world's thorium supply at more than 5.3 million tons. Thorium's qualities make it easier to contain in the event of a reactor malfunction.
The new NSE-led field of “strain engineering” could open up areas of materials research with many potential applications.
Professor Anne E. White, an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering received the 2014 Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, the MIT News Office reported on February 26.
“Modern nuclear plants can be designed to safely withstand and very severe natural events such as earthquake, floods, tornadoes, etc.”
The suggestion by Prof. Emeritus Ernst Frankel in the November/December issue of the MIT Faculty Newsletter regarding nuclear energy, “There is No More Need for Nuclear Power Plants in the USA”, could not be any more wrong. If we did not have nuclear power, we would have had to invent it in order to supply the future generations with an assured supply of energy without increasing the danger from global warming or making the electric grid highly unreliable.
With the push of a button Monday, researchers at MIS resumed efforts to try to harness the process that powers the sun — nuclear fusion — in the hope of developing a stable, nonpolluting source of energy.
With the money restored in the 2014 federal budget, signed recently by President Obama, MIT restarted the Alcator C-Mod, a mini fusion reactor housed at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center.
The Alcator C-Mod experiment at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center was shut down for more than a year due to federal budget cuts. But scientists are once again at work, creating and controlling the energy of the stars, and possibly the power source for our planet’s future.
In a recent open letter to the environmental community published in the New York Times, four leading nuclear experts — three of them with connections to NSE — have called for a major role for nuclear energy in the effort to reduce the risks of global climate change. Neil Todreas, Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Andrew Kadak, formerly Professor of the Practice in NSE, and Richard Meserve, previously chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a current member of the NSE Visiting Committee, were joined by Richard Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Harvard as co-signers of the letter, which endorses an earlier, similar letter to the environmental community written by four leading climate scientists.
Paola Cappellaro’s team in MIT’s Quantum Engineering Group has developed a new method to control nanoscale diamond sensors, which are capable of measuring even very weak magnetic fields.
Jacob DeWitte’s UPower aims to develop a portable solid-state nuclear generator churning out 1.75 megawatts of power that could, in theory, provide 12 years of energy without needing refueling and offer a 50% savings over diesel.
Leslie Dewan’s planned Waste-Annihilating Molten-Salt Reactor could have a major impact on the energy sector. The innovative design, which she developed with NSE's Mark Massie, mixes nuclear material with molten salt to contain reactions and reduce both waste and the risk of a meltdown.
The goal of Transatomic Power is to design a reactor that can generate power from nuclear waste, thus addressing the twin issues of clean energy and nuclear waste removal at the same time. The reactor which is a molten salt reactor lives off the preponderance of energy trapped in unfissioned reactor fuel from light water reactors
Many efforts to smooth out the variability of renewable energy sources — such as wind and solar power — have focused on batteries, which could fill gaps lasting hours or days. Charles Forsberg has come up with a much more ambitious idea: He proposes marrying a nuclear powerplant with another energy system, which he argues could add up to much more than the sum of its parts.
Particles suspended in cooling water could prevent hotspots in nuclear plant cooling systems and electronics. Cooling systems generally rely on water pumped through pipes to remove unwanted heat. Now, Jacopo Buongiorno, Tom McKrell, and Lin-wen Hu at MIT, and researchers in Australia have found a way of enhancing heat transfer in such systems by using magnetic fields, a method that could prevent hotspots that can lead to system failures. The system could also be applied to cooling everything from electronic devices to advanced fusion reactors, they say.
Emilio Baglietto has been running large computations simulating a limited-size randomly-stacked pebble bed containing about 30 pebbles to give insights into the core behaviour of the new generation of pebble-bed high-temperature reactors.
Imelda Marcos wants to save the world, albeit stylishly. Wearing a simple, discreet slide sandal, the 84-year-old former first lady of the Philippines greets a visitor to her spacious, memento-laden Manila apartment with a surprise: Before reminiscing about politics, fashion, or her years in and out of power, she wants to talk seriously about energy.
Pyrite — perhaps better known as “fool’s gold” for its yellowish metallic appearance — is a common, naturally occurring mineral. It holds promise as a high-tech material, with potential uses in solar cells, spintronic devices and catalysts, but is also a byproduct of corrosion of steel in deep-sea oil and gas wells. Both its potential usefulness in devices and its role in corrosion are largely influenced by the fundamental electronic properties of its surface — which have remained relatively unexplored.
“We wanted to find something to recognize the soldiers who have been past MIT students,” says MIT ROTC Oversight Committee member Ronald Ballinger, a professor of nuclear science and engineering and materials science and engineering who served in the Navy from 1965 to 1972.
The recent study, in collaboration with Joshua Pollack, found that North Korean can make gas centrifuges without imported components to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
Leslie Dewan of Transatomic Power and Jacob DeWitt of UPower are designing safer, cheaper nuclear reactors.