Chapter 20. Nuclear Propulsion

Nuclear processes are logical choices for compact energy sources in vehicles that must travel long distances without refueling. The most successful application is in the propulsion of naval vessels, especially submarines and aircraft carriers. Thermoelectric generators that use the isotope plutonium-238 provide reliable electric power for interplanetary spacecraft. Research and development has been done on reactors for aircraft and rockets, and reactors may be used in future missions.

20.1. Reactors for Naval Propulsion[]

The discovery of fission stimulated interest on the part of the United States Navy in the possibility of the use of nuclear power for submarine propulsion. The development of the present fleet ...

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