Earth Bound RTG Systems: Uses Closer to Home

Tiny, milliwatt capacity RTGs found a home inside the chests of middle aged people in countries like France, Russia and even the United States. These devices – about the same size as a AA battery – were designed to power cardiac pacemakers. Not all of the RTGs that have been produced have been designed for […]

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RTG Heat Sources: Two Proven Materials

Strontium is not associated with nuclear weapons and has never been called the most deadly element known to man. There is a precedence in the United States for widely licensing small quantities of sealed Sr-90; it is used in some aircraft ice detection systems.Essentially all RTGs that have been produced have been designed for long […]

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Cassini: Near Term Use of RTGs

The only planned use of RTGs in the US space program in the near term is the unmanned, 1997 Cassini mission to explore Saturn. The Cassini spacecraft will be powered by three General Purpose Heat Source Radioisotope Thermal Generators (GPHS RTGs) each designed to provide 276 W of electrical power at the beginning of the […]

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New Nuclear Power Barges: Russians Build on Ice Breaker Lead

The northern coast of Russia is an area endowed with rich natural resources and vast mineral wealth but burdened with a limited infrastructure. Because of the extremely cold winters, transportation is difficult and infrequent. During the Soviet era, finding workers to exploit the riches was not difficult; they had little choice in the matter. Once […]

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SL-1: Designed for Remote Power and Heat

SL-1′s mission was to provide power to radar stations along the northern perimeter of North America; a series of such stations was known as the DEW (Defense Early Warning) Line. The Army’s designation , SL-1, tells us that the plant was a stationary, low power reactor, and that it was the first of its kind. […]

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PHWR Historical Problem Areas: Sources of Incidents

The pressure tubes of a CANDU® are in a hostile environment that includes a high neutron flux, hot, high temperature water, and a certain amount of hydrogen and oxygen released by the decomposition of water by radiation.Though the CANDU® has proven itself to be a reliable, cost effective and safe power generation system, there are […]

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Isotope Production: Dual Use Power Plants

Canada now produces approximately 85 percent of the world’s supply of Co-60 and more than 50 percent of the Co-60 medical therapy devices and medical device sterilizers.Nuclear reactors are not just a source of heat for power production. They are also an abundant source of neutrons, which allows the plants to be in a process […]

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Pressurized Heavy Water: Using Available Resources

For a time, it appeared that the goal of an independent nuclear industry might not be possible and construction was begun on a reactor plant that used an imported pressure vessel.In many ways a CANDU® nuclear plant is conceptually related to a standard pressurized water reactor plant system. It has two separate heat transfer loops […]

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Letter from the Editor: Reactors With a Can-Do Attitude

Canada decided that it would be prudent to develop a reactor design that could operate on natural uranium. This decision was consciously aimed at making the Canadian nuclear industry independent of American political decision making.One of the highest compliments that you can pay to a submariner is to describe him as someone with a “can-do” […]

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Some Reactors CANDU®: What Others Cannot

CANDU® reactors are designed to operate with fuel that is composed of natural uranium dioxide formed into cylindrical pellets and inserted into zirconium alloy tubes. No enrichment is necessary. An understanding of some of the features of the CANDU® reactor design makes it obvious that many of the negative perceptions about nuclear power are, in […]

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Keep it Simple: Complex Systems Cost More

It must also be understood that the 60 percent efficient gas turbine combined cycle is a very sophisticated piece of machinery operating with its material at close to maximum limits.A first generation Adams Engine might achieve a thermal efficiency of approximately 30-35 percent, instead of the 55-60 percent that is currently being advertised for advanced […]

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Atomic Gas Turbines: Applying Related Inventions

Based on current projections, it appears that the gas turbine is destined to fulfill the majority of the new power plant market in the United States and much of western Europe.Many of the greatest innovations – if carefully investigated – can be seen to be the result of of an inventor recognizing other inventions had […]

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