Current model for storing nuclear waste is incomplete

The materials the United States and other countries plan to use to store high-level nuclear waste will likely degrade faster than anyone previously knew because of the way those materials interact, new research shows. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Materials, show that corrosion of nuclear waste storage materials accelerates because of changes in … Read more

New measurement yields smaller proton radius

Using the first new method in half a century for measuring the size of the proton via electron scattering, the PRad collaboration has produced a new value for the proton’s radius in an experiment conducted at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The result, recently published in the journal Nature, is one of the … Read more

New metasurface design can control optical fields in three dimensions

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As they report in a paper published Oct. 4 in the journal Science Advances, their designed optical element focuses light to discrete points in a 3D helical pattern. The team’s design principles … Read more

Nuclear war between India and Pakistan would launch a global climate catastrophe

With ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan raising concerns about the possibility of nuclear conflict, even as neither country is likely to initiate without significant provocation, researchers have evaluated both the direct fatalities and global climate anomalies that would result if nuclear war did break out. The researchers evaluated this scenario for the year 2025. … Read more

How to dismantle a nuclear bomb

How do weapons inspectors verify that a nuclear bomb has been dismantled? An unsettling answer is: They don’t, for the most part. When countries sign arms reduction pacts, they do not typically grant inspectors complete access to their nuclear technologies, for fear of giving away military secrets. Instead, past U.S.-Russia arms reduction treaties have called … Read more

Nuclear physics – probing a nuclear clock transition

Modern atomic clocks are the most accurate measurement tools currently available. The best current instruments deviate by just one second in 30 billion years. However, even this extraordinary level of precision can be improved upon. Indeed, a clock based on an excited nuclear state of thorium-229 should make it possible to enhance timing accuracy by … Read more

Antineutrino detection could help remotely monitor nuclear reactors

Technology to measure the flow of subatomic particles known as antineutrinos from nuclear reactors could allow continuous remote monitoring designed to detect fueling changes that might indicate the diversion of nuclear materials. The monitoring could be done from outside the reactor vessel, and the technology may be sensitive enough to detect substitution of a single … Read more

Technological developments in radiation detectors enhance global nuclear security

Nuclear power plants can withstand most inclement weather and do not emit harmful greenhouse gases. However, trafficking of the nuclear materials to furnish them with fuel remains a serious issue as security technology continues to be developed. Two physicists working out of the University of Florida and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Paul Johns and Juan … Read more

Thunderbolt of lightning, gamma rays exciting

University of Tokyo graduate student Yuuki Wada with colleagues from Japan discover a connection between lightning strikes and two kinds of gamma-ray phenomena in thunderclouds. The research suggests that in certain conditions, weak gamma-ray glows from thunderclouds may precede lightning bolts and their accompanying gamma-ray flashes. In the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, in central Japan, … Read more