Nuclear fuel for aircraft

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Investigate the potential for the use of a nuclear fuel source for aircraft propulsion: If anybody have related document and ideas please post it
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
19,705
6,043
Sounds like homework...
 
  • #3
mathman
Science Advisor
7,839
439
About fifty years ago there was a major research program to develop a nuclear powered airplane. The problem of shielding was too big and the program eventually died.
 
  • #4
Argentum Vulpes
About fifty years ago there was a major research program to develop a nuclear powered airplane. The problem of shielding was too big and the program eventually died.
Are you referring to the program that eventually turned out the XB-70 Valkyrie?
 
  • #6
Argentum Vulpes
My understanding of the project was the nuclear engines were part of the WS-110A program. The point of the program was to make a long range, high endurance, high altitude and high speed bombers to penetrate USSR airspace. The nuclear engines were abandoned when high energy jet fuel (JP-6) was developed.
 
  • #7
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,824
2,050
Nuclear propulsion for aircraft and rockets was abandoned because more efficient chemical propuslion systems were developed, and the thermonuclear warheads were reduced in size and mass. Note that commercial nuclear power for ships was also abandoned, but the navy uses is for submarines and aircraft carriers because of the 'essentially' unlimited range.

Some insight into the politics - http://www.megazone.org/ANP/politics.shtml
 
  • #8
QuantumPion
Science Advisor
Gold Member
902
42
Note that commercial nuclear power for ships was also abandoned,
Actually Russia still has something like half a dozen nuclear-powered icebreakers.
 
  • #9
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,824
2,050
Actually Russia still has something like half a dozen nuclear-powered icebreakers.
True, but they are Naval or Coast Guard I believe. I was referring to Civilian Maritime, rather than Naval vessels.

Naval vessels are normally capable of defending themselves against highjacking. It's a security, safety and proliferation concern.
 
  • #10
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
True, but they are Naval or Coast Guard I believe. I was referring to Civilian Maritime, rather than Naval vessels.

Naval vessels are normally capable of defending themselves against highjacking. It's a security, safety and proliferation concern.
Is that a valid concern in your view, given the creation of a civilian maritime nuclear vessel?
 

Related Threads on Nuclear fuel for aircraft

Replies
18
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
51
Views
33K
  • Last Post
Replies
24
Views
17K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
4K
Replies
3
Views
3K
Replies
18
Views
9K
Replies
1
Views
6K
Top