Nuclear Propulsion: Safety Measures and Concerns

by Lindsay N. Herron, Eldorado High Sch, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


Since nuclear fission was discovered, many potential uses for it have been found. One such application of fission is nuclear propulsion systems in space ships; however, the elements resulting from this are often radioactive, thereby posing potential health hazards. There are numerous precautions being taken in an attempt to prevent radiation leaks and reduce the possibility of accidents. Because these measures are being taken and because the nuclear propelled ships have less fuel mass, a higher thrust and specific impulse than other ships, cost less than others, and result in shorter trips, nuclear space propulsion is an efficient means of travel.

Subject Headings: Nuclear safety | Energy efficiency | Radiation | Fuels | Thrust | Health hazards | Flight | Ships

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