Automotive Nuclear-Heat Engines and Associated High-Temperature Materials
APPLICATION of nuclear energy for civilian automotive uses has possibilities, these authors say. Nuclear power for automotive applications, they feel, is technically feasible now where size and weight are not prime considerations; where size and weight are major parameters, discoveries of new materials for construction of nuclear-power reactors must be made. New materials are needed for reactor fuels, heat extractants, neutron reflectors, reactor construction materials, controls, and radiation shields which must have unique nuclear properties in addition to conventional engineering properties. This paper presents nuclear automotive propulsion devices in terms of technologies now available. The necessary radiation-shielding mass and weight requirements are presented for an ideal point-source nuclear-heat-power engine.