Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Short Takes – 4-17-24

‘It’s an efficient machine to destroy nuclear waste’: nuclear future powered by thorium beckons. article. Pull quote: “The company’s concept combines a particle accelerator called a cyclotron with a subcritical lead-cooled reactor. ‘It’s built with about 3% missing neutrons which is a very important safety feature for us – if you pull the plug on the accelerator the reactor stops in milliseconds,’ explains de Mestral. ‘This sub-criticality is also crucial in order to have an efficient machine able to transmute nuclear waste.’”

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Fuel System Integrity of Hydrogen Vehicles; Compressed Hydrogen Storage System Integrity; Incorporation by Reference. Federal Register NHTSA notice of proposed rulemaking. Summary: “This notice proposes to establish two new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) specifying performance requirements for all motor vehicles that use hydrogen as a fuel source. The proposed standards are based on Global Technical Regulation (GTR) No. 13. FMVSS No. 307, “Fuel system integrity of hydrogen vehicles,” which would specify requirements for the integrity of the fuel system in hydrogen vehicles during normal vehicle operations and after crashes. FMVSS No. 308, “Compressed hydrogen storage system integrity,” would specify requirements for the compressed hydrogen storage system to ensure the safe storage of hydrogen onboard vehicles. The two proposed standards would reduce deaths and injuries that could occur as a result of fires due to hydrogen fuel leakages and/or explosion of the hydrogen storage system.” Comment due date: June 17th, 2024.

America’s ‘God of War’ is now many decades old. The US Army can’t replace it. article. Another side of the artillery story that has been raised because of the war in Ukraine. Pull quote: “So it’s extremely problematic that the world’s leading army, the US Army, can’t manage to develop a new howitzer. Trying and failing three times in a generation to acquire new heavy artillery, the Army is stuck with upgraded versions of the same howitzers it’s been using for 61 years.”

Hackers Linked to Russia’s Military Claim Credit for Sabotaging US Water Utilities. article. Pull quote: ““Someone under this persona is doing some really aggressive stuff, and they’re doing it globally, and they could ultimately cause a very real incident,” Hultquist says. “If this is just some random group of hacktivists who lack the structure and restraint of a military organization, they may cross lines in ways that no one anticipates.””

Russia-linked hacking group suspected of carrying out cyberattack on Texas water facility, cybersecurity firm says. article. Pull quote: “In Muleshoe, a town of about 5,000 people, the hackers broke into a remote login system for industrial software that allows operators to interact with a water tank, city manager Ramon Sanchez told CNN. The water tank overflowed for about 30 to 45 minutes before Muleshoe officials took the hacked industrial machine offline and switched to manual operations, Sanchez said in an email. Muleshoe officials replaced the hacked software system and took other steps to secure the network, Sanchez said.”

Atlas shrugged: Boston Dynamics retires its hydraulic humanoid robot. article. Pull quote: “Atlas has taken many strides in the intervening decade, of course, as the bipedal robot continues to factor into Boston Dynamics’ research and promotional material. Today, however, marks the end of the road for the robot. While many of the system’s advances in locomotion still impress, certain aspects, like its hydraulics, are antiquated by contemporary robotics standards.”


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