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China is building world’s first commercial land-based SMR

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China is building the “Linglong-1,” a small modular reactor (SMR) in the country’s southern island province of Hainan. It’s the world’s first of this type of reactor to be approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and it intends to serve the region’s diverse power needs.

A design sketch of a completed Linglong-1 power unit. /Hainan Nuclear Power

“We believe that there will be a trend of nuclear energy because it can be close to the load centers and based on customization,” said Qu Yong, deputy chief engineer at Hainan Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.

“Each standard SMR module could provide 100 megawatts of load, and it can be perfectly coupled with user’s needs,” he added.

The expert said that the reactor integrated the key components of conventional reactors into just one and there is a focus on safety, with measures that can operate without human intervention.

The Linglong-1 SMR reactor integrates the key components of conventional reactors into just one. /Hainan Nuclear Power

SMRs, including microreactors (MRs), are expected to play an increasingly important role in ensuring energy security, as well as the global energy transition to net zero carbon, according to IAEA.

“Take Hainan Island for example. We used to rely on coal, oil and gas, and we got a relatively higher cost of transporting them here. Nuclear energy offers a new option. During the global energy crisis in recent years, many countries have been considering using the SMR technology,” said Qu Yong.

More than 80 SMR designs are under development in 19 countries and two SMR units are already in operation in China and Russia, according to the latest figures from the IAEA.

Workers are busy at the construction site of Linglong-1 at Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant. /Hainan Nuclear Power

The construction of the demonstration project of China’s Linglong-1 began in July 2021 and it’s proceeding on schedule.

“Its main construction period is 20 months. We will finish building the six major structures of the project during the period and then, we will go into the installation phase,” said Jiang Wenlin, a senior engineer from China Nuclear Industry 22nd Construction Company responsible for the construction of Linglong-1.

Among the first planned users of the new power source at the plant will be a local desalinator and a neighboring industrial park.

Those early and valuable operational experiences, in terms of safety and economic competitiveness will help plan for Linglong-1’s future applications and wide deployment.

 

Source: CGTN

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3 scientists awarded 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for work in quantum mechanics

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The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded jointly to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Tuesday.

The prize was awarded to the three scientists “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science,” the Nobel Committee said in a statement.

Aspect, born in 1947 in France’s Agen, is a professor at Paris-Saclay University. Clauser, 80, is a research physicist at J.F. Clauser and Associates in the United States. Zeilinger, 77, serves as a professor at the University of Vienna.

The laureates’ development of experimental tools has “laid the foundation for a new era of quantum technology,” the committee said, adding that the ability to “manipulate and manage quantum states and all their layers of properties gives us access to tools with unexpected potential.”

“The 2022 #NobelPrize laureates in physics have conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated,” the committee tweeted.

“The results have cleared the way for new technology based upon quantum information.”

The three will share a prize of 10 million Swedish kronor ($901,500), which they will receive from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.

 

Source: CGTN

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China starts selecting 4th batch of astronauts

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China started the selection process of the fourth batch of astronauts to join later manned space missions, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

Between 12 and 14 candidates will be chosen, including seven or eight pilots. Engineers will also be selected as well as two payload experts.

The pilots will be selected among active pilots of China’s armed forces. The engineers will be picked from researchers and technicians in aerospace or related industries. And the payload experts will be drafted among those also researching space science.

The posts of payload experts are also open to applicants from Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for the first time.

The CMSA will carry out the selection procedure which is expected to last about 18 months.

Currently the Astronaut Center of China is training the third batch of 18 astronauts before they are certified for space missions.

China has 21 astronauts in total from the first and the second generations. 14 of them have taken part in nine missions, including the latest Shenzhou-14 mission.

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Diligent female chemist steeps in scientific innovation

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Yu Jihong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, showed a thin “card” with high flexibility. It may be hard to imagine that it is a new type of lithium(Li)-air battery.

Yu, 55, a professor of chemistry at Jilin University in Changchun, northeast China’s Jilin Province, developed this flexible zeolite electrolyte solid-state Li-air battery, only 0.33 mm in thickness, together with her team members in 2021.

Their work has shown huge application potentials in flexible electronics and automobile power systems.

The Li-air battery is one of the breakthroughs made by Yu’s team, amid their continuous efforts to develop zeolite-based materials for more than three decades.

Zeolites are materials for molecular sieving, widely used in industrial catalysis and ion-exchange, according to Yu, a delegate to the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Traditional studies of zeolites hit a bottleneck in the 1990s, but Yu persevered and dedicated herself to the rational synthesis of zeolites, a challenging research direction, despite others’ discouragement.

The efforts have borne fruit. Yu’s team pioneered the pathway toward rational design and zeolites synthesis. One of their major discoveries helps boost the efficiency and green development of zeolites synthesis.

These successes come with Yu’s diligence. Rushing back and forth, Yu is busy giving lessons, revising papers, and participating in academic conferences.

Yu sets an example of innovation and scientific research for her students. Her untiring efforts dedicated to teaching have nurtured more than 70 Ph.D. students.

Having won various of domestic and international awards, Yu still describes herself as “an ordinary teacher, an ordinary scientific worker, and a Party member.”

Yu said that she will continue to devote herself to scientific and technological innovation, making new contributions for the country.

 

Source: Xinhua

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