Saturday, October 05, 2013

I like to joke about my dream of a nuclear powered car. More seriously, I think it's a shame anyone has ever been even slightly worried about there being enough 238Pu for the future deep space probes. Whether or not any particular design for a breeder reactor, such as this, ever becomes a competitive way to produce megawatts of electric power, having a few breeder reactors is desirable because they produce the fuel for small, portable, high-energy-density, decades-lasting power supplies that can work where the sun is faint or blocked. (I'm not optimistic about the feasibility of a small portable sun in a box.)

Whatever the happens with nuclear fission, I am even more certain that mankind is not fully enjoying the benefits of explosive nuclear fusion. Yes, the Tsar Bomba was an impressive display, but humans could have set foot on the moons of Saturn decades ago using an Orion drive.

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