Compared to its centuries-old fossil fuel counterparts, nuclear power is a young player in today’s lineup of energy sources. Still, since the world’s first nuclear power plant became operational in 1954, there have been three marked advancement periods, or generations, of nuclear technology. Each new generation has improved upon the current safety and performance of the previous generation.
Energy and the Environment
Finding the solutions to significant interrelated global energy and sustainability issues, such as managing wildlife habitats, designing efficient engines and improving air quality, requires computational modeling, simulation and analysis. The Ohio Supercomputer Center provides researchers in these areas with those resources.
The Department of Energy supports pilot projects and basic research that evaluate the feasibility of capturing carbon dioxide created by industrial processes and power plants and injecting it into deep geologic formations for permanent storage, known as geo-sequestration. This is part of evaluating strategies for reducing atmospheric emissions and mitigating accumulation of greenhouse gasses.
Biofuels, fuels derived from plant materials, have the potential to reduce the United State’s dependency on fossil-based fuels. Brent Sohngen, professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University, and his colleagues have developed a series of land use and management models that assess, among many issues, the impact of using forests for biofuel.
Coal is currently the largest source of electricity generation in the United States, while gasoline and diesel fuel power most vehicles. However, coal, gasoline and diesel fuel are non-renewable resources, and the combustion of these fossil fuels produces various pollutants. As a result, alternative, non-polluting energy sources such as hydrogen are desirable.