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Encyclopedia > Nuclear propulsion

Nuclear propulsion can include a wide variety of methods, the commonality of which is the use of some form of nuclear reaction as their primary power source. Many military submarines and large surface ships use nuclear reactors as their power plants. In addition, various types of nuclear propulsion have been proposed for spacecraft applications:

See also

  • Project Pluto, which developed an unmanned cruise missile that used a nuclear powered ramjet for propulsion.

  Results from FactBites:
nuclear propulsion (445 words)
A nuclear propulsion system derives its thrust from the products of nuclear fission or fusion, and was first seriously studied by Stanislaw Ulam and Frederick de Hoffman in 1944 as a spinoff of their work on the Manhattan Project.
One way to achieve nuclear propulsion is to heat a working fluid by pumping it through a nuclear reactor, then let the fluid expand through a nozzle.
With unlimited nuclear power, however, it is not necessary to react or burn anything; instead, hydrogen gas could simply be heated inside a nuclear reactor and then ejected as a high-speed exhaust.
Encyclopedia: Nuclear marine propulsion (1880 words)
Nuclear marine propulsion is propulsion of a Merchant ship powered by a nuclear reactor.
Work on nuclear marine propulsion started in the 1940s, and the first test reactor started up in the USA in 1953.
In contrast, nuclear propulsion has proven both technically and economically feasible in the Soviet Arctic.
  More results at FactBites »



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