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Latest Nuclear Ideas


Nuclear is a hot topic now and these are the latest 20 nuclear ideas posted by our Idea Spies. All the ideas are explained simply and are at various stages of commercialisation.

We are planning a discussion about nuclear opportunities with our IdeaSpies Community on Wednesday 1 March, the latest idea posted. You’re welcome to join us.

1. What's the future of nuclear as a source of clean energy? Please join our IdeaSpies Community for an online discussion about nuclear opportunities, in conjunction with The RSA at 10am AEDT Wednesday 1 March. Our IdeaSpies Industrial Editor, Michael Sharpe, will offer his view in the first 15 minutes. Then you can ask questions and comment. 

2. Rolls Royce Galactic Nuclear Engines “Rolls Royce is one of the world's leading aeronautics and engine firms, with its products found in both military and civilian aircraft - alongside submarines and other machines.”Additionally, Rolls-Royce is working on a nuclear rocket engine for a two-stage rocket for launch and for reactors on the moon.  

3.  Nuclear Powered Rocket to Mars NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced Tuesday a collaboration to demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space, an enabling capability for NASA crewed missions to Mars.

4. Spent Nuclear Fuel Recycling Advanced nuclear technology firm, Oclo is fueling nuclear-powered innovation with its plans to develop a first-of-its-kind nuclear fuel recycling facility that could sustainably power advanced reactors within the next decade.

5. GE Hitachi Signs Contract for the First North American Small Modular Reactor “We aim to deliver the first SMR in North America and, in doing so, lead the start of a new era of nuclear power that will provide zero-emission energy generation, energy security and energy reliability around the globe”

6.  Australian Technology for Nuclear Submarines  A new study by Monash University researchers will help nuclear-propelled submarines to remain underwater – and undetected – for much longer. 

7. Growth of Irradiation for Food The food irradiation process removes microorganisms and bacteria that cause food poisoning and other diseases. Food irradiation harnesses X-rays, gamma rays, or electron beams to destroy bacteria without affecting the produce. 

8. Ultraviolet irradiation for dining-table disinfection Chemical disinfectants are quite effective in killing the vast majority of microbes. However, most chemical disinfectants are not environmentally friendly. More critically, chemical disinfectants can be harmful to human health. 

9. Australia to consider change to food irradiation rules An application has been made to amend food irradiation rules in Australia.The proposal seeks to increase the maximum permitted energy level of machines generating X-rays for irradiating food from 5 to 7.5 megaelectronvolts (MeV) as long as the X-ray target is made of tantalum or gold.

10. Fission Surface Power and Nuclear Propulsion in Space  In terms of propulsion, NASA’s efforts have aimed to advance proposals for nuclear-thermal and nuclear-electric propulsion systems. 

11. Nuclear Powered Helicopter NASA’s Mars Helicopter Opens the Door for Flight on Other Worlds. From a nuclear-powered copter on Saturn’s moon Titan to blimps on Venus, space engineers are planning innovative flying machines to explore faraway landscapes. 

12. Nuclear for Resources on the Moon A new way to Peer Into the Permanently Shadowed Craters on the Moon, Searching for Deposits of Water ice. Designed by the Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), this flashlight doesn’t emit visible light, but it does emit x-rays and gamma rays, and the researchers on the project think it could be useful for finding resources on the Moon.

13. Go Nuclear for Jupiter In the coming years, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will send two robotic missions to explore Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. One of the many challenges for these missions is how to mine through the thick icy crusts and obtain samples from the interior ocean for analysis. 

14. Earth to Neptune in One Year Similar to solar sail concepts that have been around for years, this pellet-beam propulsion system could transport spacecraft weighing one ton to the orbit of Neptune in just one year—it took Voyager 2 twice as long just to get to Jupiter.

15. NASA nuclear propulsion concept could reach Mars in just 45 days The Nuclear Thermal and Nuclear Electric Propulsion concept is a new class of bimodal nuclear propulsion system that uses a "wave rotor topping cycle”

16. First nuclear-powered data centre First nuclear-powered data centre at Susquehanna has been completed. The data centre is powered by a direct connection to the 2.5 GW Susquehanna nuclear power station in northeast Pennsylvania.

17. Combatting Coffee Rust through Nuclear Techniques Coffee is a USD 100 billion industry but faces risks and challenges from Climate Change. New coffee varieties — developed using irradiation — could be the key to building resilience to these fatal threats. 

18. Nuclear for Electric Transport This new study by found “significant potential” for the development of SMRs to power electrified transport in 2040, making up 99% of the deployed distributed energy resources capacity.

19. Coal to Nuclear Patents Holtec International has applied for a patent for multi-stage compressors that would enable any coal-fired plant to be repurposed by replacing its coal-fired boiler with clean steam from the SMR-160 small modular reactor.

20. The World Needs More Nuclear Power Any serious effort to grapple with climate change must begin by reckoning with the maths involved in transitioning to so-called net-zero carbon emissions—that is, the point at which humans are removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they are adding to it, stopping humankind’s contribution to climate change.

What do you think?

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