When built, the technology will, for the first time, be able to assess radiation – particularly neutron and gamma-ray fields - under water to check the safety and stability of material within submerged areas of nuclear sites. The technology could also be used to speed up the removal of nuclear waste from decaying storage ponds at the Sellafield Reprocessing facility in Cumbria – shortening decommissioning programmes and potentially delivering significant savings for taxpayers. Led by engineers at Lancaster University, and involving colleagues at the University of Manchester, Hybrid Instruments Ltd. as well as Japanese partners, the international research project, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, will develop a remote-controlled vehicle that can go into these harsh submerged environments to assess radiation levels. When Fukushima was hit by huge Tsunami waves in the wake of the most powerful earthquake ever to hit Japan, the cores of three of the six reactors were damaged and had to be flooded by sea water to keep them cool to prevent more extensive damage. Nuclear fuel debris needs to be removed to enable safe decommissioning of the reactors, however it is not known how much there is, its condition and the likelihood of accidental reactions being triggered. New detection instruments developed through the project will help identify nuclear fuel and help operators to deal with it safely. Malcolm Joyce, Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Lancaster University and lead author of the research, said: "A key task is the removal of the nuclear fuel from the reactors. Once this is removed and stored safely elsewhere, radiation levels fall significantly making the plant much more safer, and cheaper, to decommission. "Our research will focus on developing a remote-operated submersible vehicle with detection instruments that will be able to identify the radioactive sources. This capability does not currently exist and it would enable clean-up of the stricken Fukushima reactors to continue." Engineers at Lancaster University have expertise in radiation detection technology and experts at the University of Manchester will concentrate of developing the remote-operated vehicle. Barry Lennox, Professor of Applied Control at the University of Manchester said: "A key challenge with the remote-operated vehicle will be to design it so that it can fit through the small access ports typically available in nuclear facilities. These ports can be less than 100 mm in diameter, which will create significant challenges." This two and a half-year international research project also involves Japanese partners, including the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the National Maritime Research Institute of Japan and the Nagaoka University of Technology. There is potential for the resulting technology to also be used by the oil and gas sector for assessment of naturally-occurring radioactive material in offshore fields. Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said: "The disaster at Fukushima has created massive challenges for Japan, the safe removal of the fuel rods from the site is just one, but it is a critical step in decommissioning the plant and its material. This EPSRC-funded research will provide the authorities with the tools to assess the site and prepare for removal. EPSRC is proud to be assisting this international project." Explore further: First of four Fukushima reactors cleared of nuclear fuel
News Article | December 2, 2010
We bring you a gallery of 10 classic passenger airliners still in regular operation. The list does have one qualifier: Planes must currently be in regularly scheduled passenger revenue service. That disqualifies VIP planes, airshow antiques, freighters and military birds, but it also means that anyone with a stamped passport and a ticket in hand can fly into history on one of these well-loved — if not as well-known — airliners. Ah, the 707. It's as much a symbol of American postwar progress as the '57 Chevy and Apollo 11, but it's still flown in regular passenger service only on Saha Airlines — a unit of the Iranian Air Force. Just as Havana residents cherish their 1950s Oldsmobiles and Buicks, economic sanctions mean that Iranian aviators must make do with vintage metal. Despite high maintenance costs, the old planes have had an unintended consequence of spurring a cottage industry of plane-enthusiast tourists who travel the world over to grab a seat on the 707 service between Tehran and Kish Island. Though feared to be retired after a series of technical failures over the summer, the Saha 707 returned to regular passenger service. For how long, nobody knows. Photo: Unveiling the Boeing 707 on May 14, 1954. Flickr/IMLS DCC
Shibu E.S.,Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology |
Shibu E.S.,Japan Science and Technology Agency |
Sugino S.,Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology |
Sugino S.,Japan Science and Technology Agency |
And 9 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2013
Nanoprobes based on quantum clusters (QC) with near-infrared fluorescence, magnetic-resonance-imaging contrast, and singlet-oxygen-sensitized intracellular fluorescence are studied. The generation of singlet oxygen and singlet-oxygen-sensitized fluorescence uncaging by magnetic and NIR-emitting nanoparticles are exploited for multimodal bioimaging in vitro. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Kubota K.,National Institute for Environmental StudiesIbaraki |
Kubota K.,Nagaoka University |
Yoochatchaval W.,National Institute for Environmental StudiesIbaraki |
Yamaguchi T.,Nagaoka University |
Syutsubo K.,National Institute for Environmental StudiesIbaraki
Sustainable Environment Research | Year: 2010
In the present study, a single-chamber microbial fuel cell (single-chamber MFC) was applied to the treatment of sucrose-based synthetic wastewater at 20 °C in order to evaluate its efficiency for electricity generation and organic removal. A carbon cloth (58 × 160 mm) was used as the anode electrode. The cathode electrode was a carbon cloth (40 × 165 mm, 1 mg Pt cm-2), which was directly exposed to air to supply the oxygen (air cathode). Synthetic wastewater containing sucrose (1 g COD L-1) was used as feed for the MFC. The hydraulic retention time was set to 25 h. In a continuous flow experiment, on 45 d a stable power density of 56 mW m-2 at the anode was obtained. At this time, the coulombic efficiency and COD removal efficiency of the MFC were 21 and 25%, respectively. The coulombic efficiency was reduced to 5% at 220 d, owing to the significant increase in rate of methane conversion. Moreover, this study examined the influence of changes in wastewater composition (including addition of sulfate or electrolyte, and changes in organic composition) on the characteristics of the power generation of the MFC. The maximum power density obtained at the anode was 127 mW m-2 when the wastewater was supplemented with 50 mM PO4 buffer. The organic composition of the wastewater affected methane conversion and power generation. Electron flow from organic matter degradation to electricity or to methane conversion is altered according to the organic composition of the wastewater. © 2010, Chinese Institute of Environmental Engineering. All rights reserved.
Yamashita S.-I.,Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology |
Hamada M.,Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology |
Nakanishi S.,Kagawa University |
Saito H.,Nagaoka University |
And 3 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2015
Despite the bright and tuneable photoluminescence (PL) of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs), the PL instability induced by Auger recombination and oxidation poses a major challenge in single-molecule applications of QDs. The incomplete information about Auger recombination and oxidation is an obstacle in the resolution of this challenge. Here, we report for the first time that Auger-ionized QDs beat self-sensitized oxidation and the non-digitized PL intensity loss. Although high-intensity photoactivation insistently induces PL blinking, the transient escape of QDs into the ultrafast Auger recombination cycle prevents generation of singlet oxygen (1O2) and preserves the PL intensity. By the detection of the NIR phosphorescence of 1O2 and evaluation of the photostability of single QDs in aerobic, anaerobic, and 1O2 scavenger-enriched environments, we disclose relations of Auger ionization and 1O2-mediated oxidation to the PL stability of single QDs, which will be useful during the formulation of QD-based single-molecule imaging tools and single-photon devices. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.