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Liquid fuel molten salt thorium reactors

Last week I wrote a little bit about how fertile thorium can be turned into reactor fuel. A discussion of how a thorium reactor might differ from a uranium reactor seems a reasonable follow-up topic. The reactors I worked with in the Navy were light-water pressurized water reactors. Like virtually every reactor we have on […]

Back to the basics: producing fissile materials

Fissile materials have been in the news a lot in recent years – Iran’s uranium enrichment program, North Korea’s continuing nuclear weapons program, the on-going nuclear security summit, and so forth. Given all of this attention this seems like a good time to talk about what fissile materials are and how they’re produced – and […]

After the Pulse: Musings about EMP

Some of you might remember a short-lived television series called Dark Angel, which aired on the Fox network for two seasons (2000-2002). The series’ backstory included the premise that a terrorist group set off a high-altitude nuclear burst that destroyed most of the United States’ electronic and communications infrastructure, plunging the nation into chaos. Recently, […]

About that Plutonium

By Dr. Y Every now and again plutonium makes the news. Traces of it were found in Japan after the Fukushima reactor accident in early 2011, traces were found in some uranium enrichment facilities in 1999, plutonium-contaminated lands were engulfed in wildfires near national laboratory facilities several times in the 1990s and 2000s, and a […]