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How do scientists uncover phenomena and explain their connections? How do engineers design machines, methods and infrastructure? At omega tau, experts give detailed answers. Over the last ten years, we have produced over 350 episodes in which we dug deeper, until we ran out of questions. Join us on our journey through the world of science and engineering: the closer you look and listen, the more interesting things get.


episode 359: Modern Fission Reactors

Guest: Jacopo Buongiorno   Host: Markus Voelter   Shownoter: Andy Joiner

In this episode we take a look at newer generations of fission reactors, those that are currently being developed or researched. Our guest is Jacopo Buongiorno of MIT. We discuss some of the high-level goals of these new reactors, such as increased safety and efficiency, and then look at a few of the interesting new designs and how they realize these goals. We also briefly cover some of the policy arguments around keeping fission in the mix for combatting climate change.

Introduction 00:08:18

Jacopo Buongiorno | Nuclear Science and Engineering | MIT | Advanced Nuclear Technology | Reliability | Decarbonization | Fission | Fusion | Nuclear Power Plant | Primary Energy Source | Turbine | Electric Generator | Grid | Condenser | Reactor Core | Uranium | Nuclear Binding Energy | Chernobyl | Meltdown | Cooling | Intrinsically Unstable | Radioactivity | Decay Heat | Redundancy | Passive Safety | Control Rods | Irradiated | 3-Mile Island | 3-Mile Island | Retrofitted

Existing Reactors 00:20:28

Light-Water Reactor | Pressurized Water Reactor | Boiling Water Reactor | Radioactive Waste | Decommissioning | Lifecycle Cost | Final Repository | Dry Casks | Energy Mix | Renewables | CO2 Emissions

Small Modular Reactors 00:37:39

Small Modular Reactors | Mass Production | Neutron Spectrum | Thermal Neutrons | Moderator | Uranium Dioxide Pellets in Rods | AP1000 | Common Cause Failure | Previous German Episode on Nuclear Power Plants

High Temperature Reactors 00:49:41 TRISO | Pebble Bed | Molten Salt Reactor | Fast Reactor

Micro Reactors 01:07:24

Micro Reactor | 40ft Container | Heat pipe | Desalination | Breeder | Burner | Plutonium | Reprocessing

Safety 01:23:46

Negative Void Reactivity Coefficient | Criticality | Critical Mass

Listener Questions 01:33:44

Instrumentation | Modeling | Indirect Measurement

Big picture 01:39:14

NuScale Power | Thermal-Hydraulics | Two-Phase Flow


 2021-01-04  1h54m