nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Nuclear-Powered Aircraft failed for both USA and Soviets

Both U.S. and Soviet Attempts at Developing a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Ended in Failure   Nuclear shielding and weight issues proved insurmountable to both the U.S. and the Soviet Union.  By  Marcia Wendorf, November 17, 2019. In the 1950s, people dreamed of using nuclear energy to power all manner of transport — from cars to airplanes to airships. In the U.S. the father of the nuclear reactor, Enrico Fermi, envisioned a nuclear-powered aircraft, while in the USSR, the chief designer of the Soviet atomic bomb, Aleksandr Kurchatov, thought nuclear-powered “heavy aircraft” could be built.

A nuclear-powered bomber seemed a no-brainer since it could theoretically stay aloft indefinitely, providing an effective deterrent to a nuclear attack. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union researched nuclear-powered aircraft, but neither country developed an active-duty version due to problems inherent in the design. These included shielding air and ground crews from radiation, and the possible effect of a crash.

To date, no civilian nuclear-powered aircraft has ever been created.

Nuclear-powered jet engines

In May 1946, the U.S. Air Force initiated the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA) program. In 1951, NEPA was supplanted by the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program, which was run by the Atomic Energy Commission………….

As an odd aside to the nuclear-powered aircraft story, the U.S. military considered solving the shielding problem by employing elderly crews to fly the nuclear-powered airplanes. Their thinking was that the crew would die of natural causes before the effects of radiation could kill them.    https://interestingengineering.com/both-us-and-soviet-attempts-at-developing-a-nuclear-powered-aircraft-ended-in-failure

November 17, 2019 - Posted by | technology

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: