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Nuclear Wasteland

The French are recycling nuclear waste. Should other countries follow suit?

13 min read
Nuclear Wasteland
Photo: Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis

For roughly a quarter century there has been a hiatus in nuclear-plant construction in Europe and North America. Now new plants are being built in France, Finland, and Russia, and new reactor proposals are gathering steam in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. But to undergo a true resurgence—which many analysts argue is necessary to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions—the nuclear power industry needs a coherent plan for dealing with its reactors’ radioactive and toxic leftovers.

Burying the waste is a slow, politically painful process that leaves much to be desired. The long-planned U.S. repository under Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been immensely controversial. Yet if built as currently planned, it may be too small when it finally opens to accommodate all the high-level waste that has piled up in the country during half a century of commercial nuclear energy.

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Deep Learning Gets a Boost From New Reconfigurable Processor

The ReAAP processor allows AI to be faster, more efficient

2 min read
different colored beams of light shooting up
iStock

This article is part of our exclusive IEEE Journal Watch series in partnership with IEEE Xplore.

Deep learning is a critical computing approach that is pushing the boundaries of technology – crunching immense amounts of data and uncovering subtle patterns that humans could never discern on their own. But for optimal performance, deep learning algorithms need to be supported with the right software compiler and hardware combinations. In particular, reconfigurable processors, which allow for flexible use of hardware resources for computing as needed, are key.

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Rory Cooper’s Wheelchair Tech Makes the World More Accessible

He has introduced customized controls and builds wheelchairs for rough terrain

6 min read
portrait of a man in a navy blue polo with greenery in the background
Abigail Albright

For more than 25 years, Rory Cooper has been developing technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Cooper began his work after a spinal cord injury in 1980 left him paralyzed from the waist down. First he modified the back brace he was required to wear. He then turned to building a better wheelchair and came up with an electric-powered version that helped its user stand up. He eventually discovered biomedical engineering and was inspired to focus his career on developing assistive technology. His inventions have helped countless wheelchair users get around with more ease and comfort.

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Designing Fuel Cell Systems Using System-Level Design

Modeling and simulation in Simulink and Simscape

1 min read
Designing Fuel Cell Systems Using System-Level Design

Design and simulate a fuel cell system for electric mobility. See by example how Simulink® and Simscape™ support multidomain physical modeling and simulation of fuel cell systems including thermal, gas, and liquid systems. Learn how to select levels of modeling fidelities to meet your needs at different development stages.