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Tag Archives: nuclear waste

Fusion is the process at the core of our Sun. What we see as light and feel as warmth is the result of a fusion reaction: Hydrogen nuclei collide, fuse into heavier Helium atoms and release tremendous amounts of energy in the process.

In the stars of our universe, gravitational forces have created the necessary conditions for fusion. Over billions of years, gravity gathered the Hydrogen clouds of the early Universe into massive stellar bodies.  In the extreme density and temperature of their cores, fusion occurs.The main advantage of nuclear fusion over fission is that there virtually would not be any nuclear waste that is produced.

ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor)  is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims to demonstrate that it is possible to produce commercial energy from fusion.

 (Click to view larger version...)

The Q in the formula on the right symbolizes the ratio of fusion power to input power. Q ≥ 10 represents the scientific goal of the ITER project: to deliver ten times the power it consumes. From 50 MW of input power, the ITER machine is designed to produce 500 MW of fusion power—the first of all fusion experiments to produce net energy.

During its operational lifetime, ITER will test key technologies necessary for the next step: the demonstration fusion power plant that will prove that it is possible to capture fusion energy for commercial use.

A cut-away view of the ITER Tokamak, revealing the donut-shaped plasma inside of the vacuum vessel. (Click to view larger version...)

A cut-away view of the ITER Tokamak, revealing the donut-shaped plasma inside of the vacuum vessel.

If you want to find out more information about ITER, please refer to the link below.

Reference:

http://www.iter.org/

Clash of nuclear protesters with police in Germany

German police battled thousands of anti-nuclear protestors today, many chained to railroad tracks, who have caused delays as they try to block a train carrying radioactive waste.

The convoy taking the German waste on a 1,200-kilometre journey from a reprocessing centre in northwestern France to a storage facility in northern Germany was stopped for 18 hours, including overnight, amid mass demonstrations.

Thousands of activists swarmed the tracks along the route near the train’s final destination in Dannenberg and boasted that the odyssey’s duration had now topped the 92-hour record set during a shipment one year ago.

Police said they detained about 1,300 people, including some who had chained themselves to the railway, requiring tricky and time-consuming operations to free them before the train could slowly rumble on.

Some 150 people were injured in clashes, most of them demonstrators, according to security forces quoted by German news agency DPA.

The waste, produced in German reactors several years ago and then sent to France for reprocessing, began its journey in a yard operated by French nuclear company Areva in Valognes, Normandy Wednesday.

The protestors argue that the shipment by train of spent fuel rods is hazardous and note that Germany, like the rest of Europe, has no permanent storage site for the waste, which will remain dangerous for thousands of years.

They are also angry that a pledged German phase-out of nuclear power, hastily agreed this year in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, will take another decade to implement.

“It’s like a friend telling you that he will stop smoking in 10 years,” said Jochen Stay, spokesman for the anti-nuclear body Ausgestrahlt (Radiated), which has mobilised protestors against the shipment.

“You are not going to congratulate them just yet.”

At the train’s final destination of Dannenberg, the 11 containers of waste are due to be unloaded onto trucks for the final 20-kilometre leg of the journey by road to the Gorleben storage facility on the River Elbe.

Organisers said about 23,000 protestors had gathered in Dannenberg, while police put the number at 8,000. About 20,000 police have been deployed along the train’s German route.

The demonstrators had travelled from across Germany as well as from Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Italy, organisers said.