Preferred Fuel Cycles

The authors prefer an open fuel cycle for the next several decades: the uranium is burned once in a thermal reactor, and the spent fuel is stored in a waste repository (red path). Some countries currently use a closed cycle in which plutonium is extracted from spent fuel and mixed with uranium for reuse in a thermal reactor (not shown).

An advanced closed cycle (whitepath) might become feasible and preferred in the distant future: plutonium and other elements (actinides) and perhaps the uranium in spent fuel would be reprocessed and used in special burner reactors, dramatically reducing the quantity of waste requiring long-term storage.

Thermal reactor

Fuel fabrication ■

Temporary storage

Thermal reactor

Fuel fabrication ■

Temporary storage

Uranium ore mines and mills

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Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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