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How America's First Digitally Operated Reactor Could Push Nuclear Technology Forward


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PUR-1 began going digital in 2012, when the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Purdue University a grant to replace the reactor.

The Purdue University Reactor Number One nuclear power plant has switched over from analog to all-digital operation.

Credit: Vincent Walter and Erin Est/Purdue University

The Purdue University Reactor Number One (PUR-1) nuclear plant has switched over from analog to all-digital operation as a testbed for the technology.

PUR-1, an academic power plant used for research purposes or to power other projects at Purdue, is extremely small, and can only legally generate enough energy to power a toaster or hair dryer.

The reactor will allow live data-streaming to remote locations, with researchers able to monitor experiments and students to observe its working components in real time.

PUR-1 supervisor Clive Townsend said, "We are inviting and forming partnerships—that could be private, other universities, or national labs—to explore how we can leverage the strengths of digital systems in order to ensure reliability."

From Popular Mechanics
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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