Extending Life By Half

Licensed originally for just 40 years, one by one U.S. nuclear power plants are qualifying for 20 more

7 min read
Extending Life By Half

This is part of IEEE Spectrum's special report: Nuclear Power Gets a Second Look

Soon, most nuclear power plants in the United States, having gone on-line in the 1960s and 1970s, will be reaching the end of their 40-year operating licenses. If they are to continue operating, their licenses must be renewed, a process started 10 years ago by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in Rockville, Md.

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Two Companies Working Towards Full-Scale Liberty Lifter X-Plane

DARPA’s massive ground-effect seaplane enters the design phase

2 min read
A combination of two concept images showing different Liberty Lifter aircraft

DARPA hopes that one of these two designs will become a full-scale aircraft.

Aurora, General Atomics

In May 2022, DARPA announced a program to develop a brand new X-Plane. Called Liberty Lifter, the X-Plane is a massive cargo seaplane that leverages ground effect to fly long distances efficiently by skimming over the surface of the sea. DARPA is of course well known for having lots of crazy ideas, only some of which ever come to fruition. But excitingly, two major aerospace companies have now signed on with their own designs for Liberty Lifter, meaning that a new full-scale X-Plane may actually happen in the near future.

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Forecasting the Ice Loss of Greenland’s Glaciers With Viscoelastic Modeling

Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany are developing new models to simulate how glaciers behave

8 min read
Aerial view of Nioghalvfjerdsbræ showing the extensive patterns of the crevasses

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

To someone standing near a glacier, it may seem as stable and permanent as anything on Earth can be. However, Earth’s great ice sheets are always moving and evolving. In recent decades, this ceaseless motion has accelerated. In fact, ice in polar regions is proving to be not just mobile, but alarmingly mortal.

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