Department of Physics Calendar
Physics Colloquium: Bruce Vogelaar
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Title: Reducing Global Warming – An Urgent Quest to find an acceptable avenue for Nuclear Energy
Abstract: Nuclear energy is globally recognized as a base-load capable energy source with essentially no carbon dioxide footprint. Light-water reactors have already been proven, and advanced Gen 3+ and Gen 4 designs exist. But broader adoption is not just a technology issue – to unlock the true potential, like in a tumbler lock, requires all the pins to line up at the same time. One needs to also address long-lived waste, the potential for major radiation release during accidents, the large up-front costs, and the potential for weapons proliferation. The latest designs often mitigate one, or even two items, but so far not all of them at once – which is what is really needed.
By merging high-energy physics accelerators and nuclear engineering, an avenue to remove these barriers all at the same time is emerging. I will review the drivers behind the global dismay with existing nuclear energy to date, and how a re-envisioned accelerator-driven system changes the picture – with designs being developed by several small companies outside of mainstream nuclear engineering, and helped along by physicists!
Host: Albert Young
October 12, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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