15,518 research outputs found

    Central-provincial Politics and Industrial Policy-making in the Electric Power Sector in China

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    In addition to the studies that provide meaningful insights into the complexity of technical and economic issues, increasing studies have focused on the political process of market transition in network industries such as the electric power sector. This dissertation studies the central–provincial interactions in industrial policy-making and implementation, and attempts to evaluate the roles of Chinese provinces in the market reform process of the electric power sector. Market reforms of this sector are used as an illustrative case because the new round of market reforms had achieved some significant breakthroughs in areas such as pricing reform and wholesale market trading. Other policy measures, such as the liberalization of the distribution market and cross-regional market-building, are still at a nascent stage and have only scored moderate progress. It is important to investigate why some policy areas make greater progress in market reforms than others. It is also interesting to examine the impacts of Chinese central-provincial politics on producing the different market reform outcomes. Guangdong and Xinjiang are two provinces being analyzed in this dissertation. The progress of market reforms in these two provinces showed similarities although the provinces are very different in terms of local conditions such as the stages of their economic development and energy structures. The actual reform can be understood as the outcomes of certain modes of interactions between the central and provincial actors in the context of their particular capabilities and preferences in different policy areas. This dissertation argues that market reform is more successful in policy areas where the central and provincial authorities are able to engage mainly in integrative negotiations than in areas where they engage mainly in distributive negotiations

    General government fiscal plan for 2024–2027

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    The purpose of the General Government Fiscal Plan is to support decision-making related to general government finances as well as compliance with the Medium-Term Objective set for the structural budgetary position of general government finances. The plan contains sections related to central government finances, wellbeing services county finances, local government finances, statutory earnings-related pension funds and other social security funds. The Government prepares the General Government Fiscal Plan for the parliamentary term and revises it annually for the following four years by the end of April. The General Government Fiscal Plan also includes Finland’s Stability Programme, and it meets the EU’s requirement for a medium-term fiscal plan. The General Government Fiscal Plan for 2024–2027 does not propose any new policy definitions. It is based on current legislation and takes into account the impact of the decisions previously made by Prime Minister Marin’s Government on the expenditure and revenue levels in the coming years. This General Government Fiscal Plan does not set any budgetary position targets. The first General Government Fiscal Plan of the Government to be appointed after the parliamentary election in spring 2023 will be drawn up in autumn 2023, and this will include a Stability Programme. The General Government Fiscal Plan also includes the central government spending limits decision, but it does not specify a parliamentary term expenditure ceiling

    Deep learning health management diagnostics applied to the NIST smoke experiments

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    Fire is one of the most important hazards that must be considered in advanced nuclear power plant safety assessments. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has developed a large collection of experimental data and associated analyses related to the study of fire safety. In fact, computational fire models are based on quantitative comparisons to those experimental data. During the modeling process, it is important to develop diagnostic health management systems to check the equipment status in fire processes. For example, a fire sensor does not directly provide accurate and complex information that nuclear power plants (NPPs) require. With the assistance of the machine learning method, NPP operators can directly get information on local, ignition, fire material of an NPP fire, instead of temperature, smoke obscuration, gas concentration, and alarm signals. In order to improve the predictive capabilities, this work demonstrates how the deep learning classification method can be used as a diagnostic tool in a specific set of fire experiments. Through a single input from a sensor, the deep learning tool can predict the location and type of fire. This tool also has the capability to provide automatic signals to potential passive fire safety systems. In this work, test data are taken from a specific set of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) fire experiments in a residential home and analyzed by using the machine learning classification models. The networks chosen for comparison and evaluation are the dense neural networks, convolutional neural networks, long short-term memory networks, and decision trees. The dense neural network and long short-term memory network produce similar levels of accuracy, but the convolutional neural network produces the highest accuracy

    Terapia fotodinâmica na inativação de bacteriófagos com porfirina e potenciadoresem águas residuais

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    Pathogenic viruses are frequently introduced into marine and estuarine waters through the discharge of treated and untreated sewage, since current treatments are unable to provide virus-free wastewater (WW) effluents, affecting the receiving waters quality and, consequently, human health. The removal of harmful constituents by the conventional treatments comprises a combination of chemical, physical and biological methods. Usually, WW from urban areas is secondarily, rarely tertiary, treated. Although the secondary effluent contains high concentrations of microorganisms, the effect of water dilution makes it acceptable in terms of quality indicators. In tertiary treatment, chlorination is the most common method used to ensure microbiological safety in tertiarily treated effluents. However, its massive utilization, both in free and combined chlorine forms, may lead to the formation of chemical disinfection by-products though the reaction with organic matter present in the effluents, being those chemicals toxic to aquatic organisms, representing potential health hazards. Unfortunately, these conventional methods are limited and may not be adequate to reach the quality levels specified by the guidelines. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with porphyrins may be a promising approach for the inactivation of pathogens as they are effective in inactivating microorganisms without the formation of potentially toxic products. Some studies have reported an enhancer effect on antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) by the combined used of some photosensitizer (PS) with potassium iodide (KI) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The main objective of this study was to evaluate the aPDT efficacy of a PS based on a low-cost formulation constituted by five cationic porphyrins (Form) and its potentiation effect by KI and H2O2 in the inactivation of a T4-like bacteriophage in WW. The experiments were done in phosphate buffered saline and in filtered and non-filtered contaminated wastewater. The aPDT assays in filtered WW (0.45 μm pore-size) were performed with different concentrations of Form (1.0 to 10 μM). In a second phase was evaluated the effect of KI (100 mM) in the photodynamic action of Form (1.0 to 10 μM). The results of these experiments demonstrated that Form is efficient in filtered WW treatment and that the efficacy of bacteriophage photoinactivation is correlated with the concentration of the used PS. When combined with KI, the Form is clearly less effective to inactivate the bacteriophage. To evaluate if the organic matter present in water influences the efficiency of PS, the WW was filtered using three different pore-sized membranes (0.45, 0.30 and 0.22 μm). The results demonstrated that the increase of organic matter promote a significant decrease in the efficiency of Form. In order to evaluate if the efficiency of aPDT to inactivate bacteriophages is maintained when the treatments are performed in non-filtrated WW, the effect of Form alone (10 μM) and combined with H2O2 (2, 5 and 9%) in non-filtered WW was evaluated. The Form alone proved to be an efficient PS to photoinactivate the bacteriophage in non-filtered WW, but the presence of H2O2 enhanced the photodynamic effect. The FORM can be an effective alternative to control viruses in WW, particularly if combined with H2O2.Os vírus patogénicos são frequentemente introduzidos nas águas marinhas e estuarinas através da descarga de esgoto tratado e não tratado, uma vez que os tratamentos atuais não inativam os vírus presentes nas águas residuais (WW), afetando a qualidade das águas recetoras e, consequentemente, a saúde humana. Nos tratamentos convencionais, a remoção de constituintes nocivos consiste no uso de métodos químicos, físicos e biológicos. Geralmente, a WW de áreas urbanas é tratada secundariamente e não terciariamente. Embora o efluente secundário contenha altas concentrações de microrganismos, o efeito da diluição na água torna-o aceitável em termos de indicadores de qualidade. A cloração é o método mais comum usado para garantir a segurança microbiológica em efluentes tratados terciariamente. No entanto, a sua utilização maciça, tanto na forma de cloro livre como combinada, pode levar à formação de subprodutos químicos como resultado da reação com a matéria orgânica presente nos efluentes, sendo esses produtos químicos tóxicos para os organismos aquáticos, apresentando riscos para a saúde. Os métodos convencionais são limitados e podem não ser adequados para manter os níveis de qualidade especificados nas diretrizes. As porfirinas quando usadas como fotossensibilizadores (PS) na terapia fotodinâmica (PDT) podem ser desinfetantes promissores para a inativação de microrganismos patógenicos, pois são eficazes na inativação de microrganismos sem formação de produtos tóxicos. Alguns estudos mostraram efeito potenciador de alguns PS usados em terapia fotodinâmica antimicrobiana (aPDT) quando estes são usados em combinação com iodeto de potássio (KI) e peróxido de hidrogénio (H2O2). O principal objetivo deste estudo foi avaliar a eficácia da aPDT de um PS baseado numa formulação de baixo custo constituída por cinco porfirinas catiónicas (Form) e o seu efeito potenciador por KI e H2O2 na inativação de um bacteriófago tipo T4. As experiências foram realizadas em solução salina tamponada com fosfato e em água residual contaminada filtrada e não filtrada. Os ensaios de aPDT em WW filtrada (tamanho do poro de 0,45 μm) foram realizados com diferentes concentrações de Form (1,0 a 10 μM). Numa segunda fase foi avaliado o efeito do KI (100 mM) na ação fotodinâmica da FORM (1,0 a 10 μM). Os resultados dessas experiências demonstraram que a Form é eficiente no tratamento de WW filtrada e que a eficácia da fotoinativação de bacteriófagos está correlacionada com a concentração do PS usado. Quando combinada com o KI, a Form é claramente menos eficaz na inativação do bacteriófago. Para avaliar se a matéria orgânica presente na água influencia a eficiência do PS, a WW foi filtrada usando três membranas com tamanho de poros diferentes (0,45, 0,30 e 0,22 μm). Os resultados mostraram que o aumento da matéria orgânica promove uma diminuição significativa na eficiência da Form. Para avaliar se a eficiência da aPDT para inativar bacteriófagos é mantida quando os tratamentos são realizados em WW não filtrada, o efeito da Form sozinha (10 μM) e combinado com H2O2 (2, 5 e 9%) em WW não filtrada foi avaliado. A Form por si só provou ser um PS eficiente para fotoinativar o bacteriófago em WW não filtrada, mas a presença de H2O2 aumentou significativamente o efeito fotodinâmico. A Form pode ser uma alternativa eficaz para controlar vírus na WW, principalmente se combinada com H2O2.This work was supported by funding FEDER through COMPETE – Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade, and by National funding through Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) and Marine Studies (CESAM).Mestrado em Biologia Molecular e Celula

    The Adirondack Chronology

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    The Adirondack Chronology is intended to be a useful resource for researchers and others interested in the Adirondacks and Adirondack history.https://digitalworks.union.edu/arlpublications/1000/thumbnail.jp

    A comprehensive review on laser powder bed fusion of steels : processing, microstructure, defects and control methods, mechanical properties, current challenges and future trends

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    Laser Powder Bed Fusion process is regarded as the most versatile metal additive manufacturing process, which has been proven to manufacture near net shape up to 99.9% relative density, with geometrically complex and high-performance metallic parts at reduced time. Steels and iron-based alloys are the most predominant engi-neering materials used for structural and sub-structural applications. Availability of steels in more than 3500 grades with their wide range of properties including high strength, corrosion resistance, good ductility, low cost, recyclability etc., have put them in forefront of other metallic materials. However, LPBF process of steels and iron-based alloys have not been completely established in industrial applications due to: (i) limited insight available in regards to the processing conditions, (ii) lack of specific materials standards, and (iii) inadequate knowledge to correlate the process parameters and other technical obstacles such as dimensional accuracy from a design model to actual component, part variability, limited feedstock materials, manual post-processing and etc. Continued efforts have been made to address these issues. This review aims to provide an overview of steels and iron-based alloys used in LPBF process by summarizing their key process parameters, describing thermophysical phenomena that is strongly linked to the phase transformation and microstructure evolution during solidifica-tion, highlighting metallurgical defects and their potential control methods, along with the impact of various post-process treatments; all of this have a direct impact on the mechanical performance. Finally, a summary of LPBF processed steels and iron-based alloys with functional properties and their application perspectives are presented. This review can provide a foundation of knowledge on LPBF process of steels by identifying missing information from the existing literature

    Radionuclide and heavy metal sorption on to functionalised magnetic nanoparticles for environmental remediation

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    The presence of radionuclides and heavy metal ions in aqueous waste streams from industrial processes, especially in the nuclear waste industry, are a major concern. Many other processes are inherent producers of hazardous aqueous waste streams that require treatment for further disposal. These wastes quite often contain many contaminants, from harmful to very toxic. Contact with the environment, through groundwater or rivers, with such contaminants needs to be avoided. The ability to selectively sequester and remove contaminants from aqueous wastes with high loading capacities is of paramount importance to achieve full removal of the contaminants produced in many industries. The recent development of phosphate functionalised superparamagnetic magnetite ((PO)x-Fe3O4) nanoparticles have been shown to have ultra-high loading capacities and a high degree of selectivity towards uranium (U(VI)). The ability to manipulate these NPs with an external magnetic field gives these nanomaterials an advantage over many other conventional technologies in the field. These low-cost, non-toxic, and easily prepared magnetic NPs are highly biocompatible and have already been widely applied in the biotechnology and biomedical industries. The addition of specific functionalities allows for the fine tuning of the selectivity towards certain elements, therefore allowing full control over the selective removal of a wide range of contaminants. This study addresses the optimisation of the NPs manufacturing process that allows for the use of these NPs in a wider range of environments. Many of these waste streams are extreme environments, where they can be highly acidic or highly basic conditions. Therefore the feasibility of coating the Fe3O4 with silica (SiO2) was addressed, to provide an acid resistant layer and substrate for further functionalisation. Both the silica coating, and the applied surface functionality, were found to be stable against dissolution or chemical changes under acidic conditions from pH 1-4. Once acid resistance was established, the ability to extract a wide range of contaminant ions was also investigated. Sorption experiments with a wide range of contaminant ions were conducted to determine the selectivity and loading capacities of both (PO)x-Fe3O4 and (PO)x-SiO2@Fe3O4 NPs, at acidic (pH 3), neutral (pH 7), and basic (pH 11) conditions. Providing a basis for the manufacture of a state-of-the-art, novel extraction tool for both heavy metals and radionuclides. Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy - Energy Dispersive X-Ray (STEM-EDX) were used to achieve full characterisation of the NP complexes and supernatants to determine the successful extraction and presence of the contaminant metal ions used in this study. Determining the uptake kinetics, loading capacities for Cs(I), K(I), Na(I), Ca(II), Cd(II), Co(II), Cu(II), Mg(II), Mn(II), Mo(II), Ni(II), Pb(II), Sr(II), Al(III), Ce(III), Cr(III), Eu(III), Fe(III) and La(III) on to (PO)x-Fe3O4 and (PO)x-SiO2@Fe3O4 NPs. Implications of the use of these NPs in the extraction of radionuclides and heavy metals have been discussed in each case along with the potential for developing a broad-spectrum adsorbent. In conclusion, this PhD has shown the potential of these novel as-synthesised phosphate functionalised NP complexes to be utilised for heavy metal and radionuclide extraction, of a range of contaminants, from aqueous solutions, in acidic, neutral, and basic conditions. The production of these cost-effective and selective nanomaterials which exhibit rapid kinetics has the potential to be an important asset to the water treatment industry. Overall, these NP-complexes have been effective in fully removing a wide range of heavy metal contaminants and, therefore, have shown great promise to become a broad-spectrum adsorbent tool, which ultimately will aid in the clean-up of many new and legacy waste environments.Open Acces

    Cyber-Informed Engineering for Nuclear Reactor Digital Instrumentation and Control

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    As nuclear reactors transition from analog to digital technology, the benefits of enhanced operational capabilities and improved efficiencies are potentially offset by cyber risks. Cyber-Informed Engineering (CIE) is an approach that can be used by engineers and staff to characterize and reduce new cyber risks in digital instrumentation and control systems. CIE provides guidance that can be applied throughout the entire systems engineering lifecycle, from conceptual design to decommissioning. In addition to outlining the use of CIE in nuclear reactor applications, this chapter provides a brief primer on nuclear reactor instrumentation and control and the associated cyber risks in existing light water reactors as well as the digital technology that will likely be used in future reactor designs and applications
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