Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green. Ever wish you could take a bite out of Kanye West? A new (possibly satirical) startup is taking meat…
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green. As most of the US bundled up and tried to stay warm during last week’s unprecedented “polar vortex,” the …
A job at the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is notoriously dangerous: in the aftermath of a massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami, reports have emerged of low wages, steep risks, and shoddy management throwing the plant cleanup process into disarray and exacerbating onsite hazards. Now, some employees at Fukushima are encountering yet another precarious scenario, as they begin the gargantuan task of removing radioactive fuel rods from a cooling pool inside one of the plant’s reactors.
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Inhabitat’s Week in Green: futuristic automation, underwater kites and a floating nuclear power plant
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green. Twitter’s stock market debut was the big story this week, but it wasn’t the only news out of Silicon Valley. Facebook just announced that starchitect Frank …
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s operator has gained permission to move forward with a plan that would transfer over 1,000 fuel rods to a new location on the site, potentially preventing massive radiation leaks in the future, reports The Wall Street Journal. Around 1,300 spent fuel rods and 200 new fuel rods have been sitting in a pool inside one of the plant’s reactors, Unit 4, since it was damaged in March 2011. The four-meter-long rods (around 13 feet) will be pulled out of the plant one at a time by a crane that still needs to be constructed.
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green. Our smartphones have become more than just an accessory — in some ways they’re an extension of ourselves — but we might want to rethink our relationship …
An example of what a Surface Phone might have looked like. Image credit: Jonas Daehnert (deviantART)
Microsoft and Nokia need each other more than you’d expect. While Nokia was testing Android in a variety of different ways, Microsoft was busy experimenting with a Surface Phone. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have revealed to The Verge that the company built a number of prototype devices to test the viability of such a phone. We’re told that Terry Myerson, who now heads the Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox operating systems, was in charge of the secret Surface phone project. We understand the company had originally considered the idea of its own phone devices as a “Plan B” if Nokia wasn’t successful with Windows Phone.
“We thought of a clever idea of how you might use fusion to do manned space travel,” explains John Slough. The University of Washington research professor discusses such seemingly impossible ideas with the cavalier nature one might otherwise reserve for picking out shirts in the morning. The white-haired academic wore his sandals to the office today, chuckling on occasion about the grandiosity of it all. Here in a nondescript business park in Redmond, WA, Slough and fellow UW staff members think they’ve found the secret to speedy interplanetary travel: small-scale nuclear fusion.
“A realistic trip to Mars, as NASA has studied extensively, requires 1,680 days,” Slough says, standing in front of the mess of electronics his company has taken to calling The Fusion Engine. “It required 11 launches from the most powerful rockets we have. Those two things would probably eliminate it. It would be something like $ 20 billion just to put the stuff in space. We thought that if you could exhaust the propellant at a speed that’s comparable to the speed you want to go, which you can do with a different energy source, you can reduce that trip time to as short as 30 days.”
It’s a lot to wrap one’s head around, how imploding metal can heat plasma to fusion temperature in the neighborhood of hundreds of millions of degrees, but Slough breaks it all down on the latest Peripheral Vision with the patience and simple language of the high school science teacher we all wished we’d had.
Filed under: Science
Join Kenny and I through his perilous rage to get his first ever nuclear medal in Black Ops 2! Will he succeed? Or will he stay a nuclear virgin? Click to Su…
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Drones Aren’t For Delivering Tacos: UVS Avia Builds Quadcopters For Nuclear Sites, Search-And-Rescue
A wellspring of interest in quadcopters for commercial applications is advancing globally. From Airware’s recent $ 10.7 million round from Andreessen Horowitz to the launch of AngelPad’s DroneDeploy, quadcopters are one of the hot, hardware trends that founders and VCs are latching onto.
This experimentation is also happening on the other side of the world. Russia’s UVS Avia is building higher-end microdrones to examine nuclear reactors and waste sites, along with doing search-and-rescue in remote areas.
They built a quadcopter that weighs about 1 kilogram, can fly above 100 meters and has at least 1 hour of battery life. It costs a hefty $ 40,000, but that’s because local Russian taxes effectively double the price and because they target government and military clients. Commercial drones for hobbyists cost a few hundred dollars, but often only have about 15 minutes of battery life. So far, UVS Avia has sold a “few dozen” drones.
It can be equipped with infrared vision, night vision or radiation protection to fly over sites like nuclear reactors or to monitor nuclear waste.
“Civilian versions weigh about 100 grams, while this is a kilo, which is a lot,” said CIO Maxim Shaposhnikov. “Everything is stronger and better.”
While the hardware for these drones is being commoditized, Shaposhnikov says the real advantage in the future will come from software.
“Normally, even for military use, all drones are managed by humans,” he said. “But our idea is to make the drones completely automatic, like maybe they could fly for months and charge automatically.”
The other thing they want to add is the ability for drones to communicate with each other. He said, you could eventually get 100 or more drones to monitor an entire city in a completely automated process.
“We think the whole industry is going in the same direction,” he said. “In five years, it will be really cheap to make drones, but the intelligence should be really advanced. New batteries are being developed that will allow a five hours of battery life. Everything is moving ahead, so software will be the key.”
The company has raised about 3 million euros in funding from private angels.