CLEARANCE: Top Secret
- Jan 22, 2006
- Reaction score
rickshaw said:I've often wondered how these nuclear aircraft were meant to work (or rather their engines). How does a nuclear jet engine work?
In direct cycle engines, like the first two described above, yes. In indirect cycle engines, no. The reactor is still hot and emits gamma rays and neutrons, but does not emit radioactive exhaust.Surely it would spew radiation all over the countryside?
It's a pity that the hafnium isomer nuclear battery concept turned out to be bunk. It's a neat neat... zap a hafnium isomer with Xrays and the isomer will release up to 60 times the energy; shut the Xrays off and the reaction stops, and you're left with a *non*radioactive chunk of metal. Tur the Xrays back on and it starts up again. A wonderful concept. That nobody was able to replicate. Sigh... more "cold fusion."fightingirish said:5 years ago, there was a discussion about a "quantum nucleonic reactor powered Global Hawk".
Source: New Scientist - 19th February 2003 - Nuclear-powered drone aircraft on drawing board
that sad, i like the ideat's a pity that the hafnium isomer nuclear battery concept turned out to be bunk.