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The very real and very serious danger of nuclear reactor accidents in space

NASA looks to send a small nuclear reactor to the moon and Mars SanDiego  Union-Tribune, 23 May 18 ………. some aren’t exactly over the moon with the prospect of nuclear power in space.

“I think it’s too dangerous,” said Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, based in Brunswick, Maine.

Among other incidents, the group points to a Russian nuclear-powered satellite that crashed into the Indian Ocean in 1982 and chunks of another that fell into a remote area of the Northwest Territories of Canada in 1978.

Gagnon also worries about launch accidents, contamination and whether projects like Kilopower may “serve as a Trojan horse” that could lead to using nuclear to power weapon systems in space.

“It’s not the kind of thing we can play games with,” Gagnon said. “One thing we know is technology is not invincible — the Titantic, the Challenger, Fukushima, there are a whole host of examples in the modern age. And when you start mixing nuclear power into the equation, it’s a very dangerous thing.”


May 25, 2018 - Posted by | safety, technology

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