Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 25th Mar 2012

Nuclear: About to Explode?

IAEA nuclear symbol. (c) IAEA

This week we're exploring the future of nuclear energy, including meeting the makers of a new design of nuclear reactor that can consume the fuels that other plants can't burn. We also delve into ways to unclog pipes inside reactors without the risks of going inside. And where do you stand on the nuclear debate? Should we be exploring alternatives, or is there no alternative to a nuclear-future? We talk to two parties on opposite sides of the debate. Plus, what the Messenger probe has found on Mercury, a blood test to predict an imminent heart attack, flushing out evidence of drug use from sewer water, and a way to block baldness in men...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:20 - Designing the PRISM Reactor

    Eric Lowen explains how the efficiency of the new PRISM reactors and how these new designs overcome previous reactor problems....

  • 10:57 - Keeping Reactors Running

    Jonathon Morrison explains how current nuclear reactors are kept running despite problems such as material deposition...

  • 18:06 - Messages from Mercury

    The MESSENGER spacecraft completed one Earth year of orbiting Mercury this month, and two papers published in the journal Science highlight some of the surprising scientific results from our solar system's innermost planet...

  • 21:52 - Drugs in sewage

    Scientists submerge themselves in sewage for an indication of drug use.

  • 25:18 - Blood Tests to Predict Heart Attacks

    Researchers in the Scripps Translational Science Institute in California have developed a blood test that may be capable of predicting an imminent heart attack. Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, Eric Topol and colleagues built on early work that shows populations of...

  • 32:33 - Fighting Baldness and Healing Wounds through Hibernation

    A new drug target for baldness, searching for early human settlements from space, a new way to fight altitude sickness and healing wounds through hibernation...

  • 36:55 - Noctilucent Clouds - Planet Earth Online

    David Hooper explains the presence and chemistry of the noctilucent clouds in our skies at dusk...

  • 42:06 - Do we need Nuclear Power?

    We have a challenge to supply our growing demand for electricity whilst reducing our carbon emissions. Is nuclear the power the only way to go? The answer is far from clear-cut. So to discuss some of the issues, Birmingham University organised a debate held in London this wee...

  • 54:46 - Is there an absolute maximum temperature?

    Dear Chris, I have a question about absolute zero. If we can have a lower limit on temperature -absolute zero -i.e. so cold that nothing happens, why do we not have an upper limit - i.e. a temperature that is so hot that atoms and particles are so hot that they are ripped ...



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