ATOMIC POWER And Aircraft Propulsion 490173

AFTER outlining the fundamental physical background for the release of atomic energy, the author shows that the high concentration of energy and the high cost and relative scarcity of atomic fuels mark them for use where there is a high premium on performance, rather than on direct cost per unit of power.
This makes atomic energy attractive for aircraft propulsion, where it could combine high performance with large payload and long range. Chief obstacles in design of an atomic aircraft engine are development of light-weight shielding against deadly radiations; adequate cans to retain radioactive fission products; a pile capable of operating at high temperature and high thermal stresses; and a safe, flexible control mechanism.


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