Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Looks Like Naval Reactors Might Be Busy

I don't think this thing'll ever fly (for political, not technical, reasons), but it looks like something that'd be exciting to work on. From this Slashdot update on Project Prometheus, I learned that Naval Reactors had signed up to do the space-going reactor design work. (For those not familiar with Naval Reactors, they're like the Gestapo of the Navy Nuclear Power world... whatever they say, goes...)


Blogger rackmonster said...

NASA and Naval Reactors have been getting along very well since the NASA/Navy Benchmarking Exchange program that was initiated in the wake of the last space shuttle disaster. The idea came from Sean O'Keefe, the NASA Administrator, who had spent a lot of time in high level jobs for the Navy. Through that work he became aware of the NR way of doing things. Eventually, NASA studied by NR and Subsafe programs looking for things they could learn and apply to the shuttle program. Incidentally, Skip Bowman has retired and the new head of NR is Kirk Donald.

4/26/2005 5:43 AM

Blogger Chap said...

Spud's got good gouge. It goes deeper--O'Keefe addressed the 2002 NSL Symposium on the subject of such cooperation, talking about radiation exposure to astronauts (a few orders of magnitude greater than Naval Nukuler Propulsion limits, let's just say) and other such things.

4/28/2005 9:47 PM

Blogger submandave said...

I have always thought that a breakthrough in materials science that allows more efficient direct heat to electricity conversion would be an increadible boost to nuclear power, especially in limited space configurations, such as on a spacecraft.

If I'm not mistaken, the "nuclear batteries" that power a lot of long-distance sattelites and probes are basically thermocouples embedded in enough radioactive material to make it hot. Excess heat is handled by surface cooling in space. Right now this technology is far too inefficient for large power demands.

5/02/2005 11:55 AM


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