Sponsored by Oregon Business

Next: radioactive energy

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BY LINDA BAKER

0613 NextA nuclear meltdown occurs when a nuclear reactor overheats, causing severe damage. Now scientists at Oregon State University are testing a new type of “superhot” nuclear reactor design that operates at temperatures above 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, about three times as hot as existing reactors. The technology is expected to be about 50% more efficient than existing technologies and is also safer, says Brian Woods, an associate professor of nuclear engineering and radiation health physics. “It’s counterintuitive; you’d think hotter is more dangerous,” he says. But because the system is designed to operate at very high temperatures, the chance of a meltdown lessens. The new design, which uses a reactor cooled by helium gas instead of water, will be be tested at a $4.8 million OSU facility to be completed this spring. Supported by grants from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the project may help make high-temperature nuclear reactors a major player in energy production, Woods says, adding that the goal is to produce electricity, hydrogen to power automobiles and steam to heat a building complex. And not to worry: The test facility uses electric heaters instead of a radioactive core. Observes Woods, “We can simulate bad accidents you wouldn’t want to see in the real world.”

 

More Articles

100 Best: The Power of the Worker

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
AND AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Technology is empowering people like never before and transforming how employees interact in the workplace. How can companies attract and keep staff engaged in this rapidly changing world?


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

Money Talks

March 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.


Read more...

Umbrella Revolution

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015

Yeah, we know: Oregonians are way too cool for umbrellas. But today’s stylish, high-tech models will soften the resistance of the most rain hardened.


Read more...

Letting Go

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

As baby boomers sell their businesses, too many forget the all-important succession plan.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS