TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE

Building a Modular System

The modular design principle increases the capability of customization, and users can receive a cost- and demand-optimized machine

Processing Industrial Hemp

ue to the growth of the hemp industry, demand for specialized hemp processing equipment has surpassed the supply. As many entrepreneurs have discovered, finding machinery equipped to handle the tough fibrous stalk of hemp plants is no simple task.

Hemp is naturally tough; the stalks are woody and nearly impossible to break down with traditional equipment used for most common grain products. It’s this very characteristic that makes hemp extremely applicable for a virtually unlimited number of commercial and industrial applications.

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We need to switch to new nuclear reactor types
Chernobil, Ukraine – where a nuclear disaster occurred in 1986

The reactor itself is only the heart of a nuclear power plant, of course. The rest of the power plant’s body – its coolant circuits, heat exchangers, pumps, turbines, control systems, containment building, etc. – is no less important for safety and, especially, for the cost. In modern plants the reactor itself makes up only about 20% of the cost.

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Molten salt and traveling wave nuclear reactors
A top-down view of the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Photo: US government, public domain (Wikimedia Commons)

Of all the advanced reactor designs, the molten salt reactor (MSR) has evoked by far the greatest enthusiasm. One can speak of a veritable “fan club.” Among the positive features of this reactor type (see below) are its intrinsic safety features and its suitability for utilizing thorium as a fuel source. Thorium is vastly more common than uranium, and promises to greatly simplify the problem posed by so-called nuclear waste.

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Tomorrow’s nuclear reactors: small but beautiful
Russian floating nuclear plant Akademik Lomonosov is pictured last August. Photo: Wikicommons

Pebble-bed high-temperature reactors get their name from the fact that the nuclear fuel is packed in tennis-ball sized spheres (“pebbles”), rather than in the conventional fuel rods. Each fuel ball consists of thousands of tiny fuel particles, each encapsulated in multiple layers of temperature-resistent ceramic material, embedded in a sphere of graphite.

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Hydrogen-boron fusion could be a dream come true
A laser fusion microexplosion. Photo: US Department of Energy

The various fields of science and technology are so closely connected that a breakthrough in one area can rapidly trigger a chain reaction of breakthroughs in other areas. The “impossible” becomes possible, the difficult becomes easy. Ideas, long since abandoned as hopelessly difficult to realize, suddenly take on new lives.

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Brabham supercar hand built in Adelaide – photo essay

rabham Automotive has built and delivered its first BT62 Competition model to the UK.

And here at @AuManufacturing we just couldn’t resist giving you a close up look at its sleek and potent features.

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Huawei 5G to roll out in 120 car models, starting with BYD Han EV in June

Huawei’s 5G-based HiCar technology is not just another auto infotainment system. It’s more like an interface to the car’s core operating system and a vehicle-to-X channel to the road. HiCar will first appear on the BYD Han EV in June, before arriving in models from about 30 different auto brands.

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Australian quantum technology could become a $4 billion industry and create 16,000 jobs

Quantum technology is not a phrase discussed over kitchen tables in Australia, but perhaps it should be.

Australia’s quantum technology research has been breaking new ground for almost 30 years. Governments, universities and more recently multinationals have all invested in this research.

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Nuclear power’s ray of hope: hydrogen-boron fusion

Although the hydrogen-boron reaction is commonly referred to as a form of fusion, it would perhaps be more accurate to describe it as a combination of a fusion and a fission process:

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How to build a hydrogen-boron fusion reactor

In this article, Jonathan Tennenbaum constructs – conceptually – a hydrogen-boron fusion reactor similar to one proposed by Australian plasma physicist Heinrich Hora.

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Why AI isn’t nearly as smart as it looks

Given the colossal, unprecedented scale of effort and creativity invested the development of AI systems, and embodied in its databases, it is not clear that AI has produced more intelligence than humans have put into it.

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