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(Some Guy)   The five most extreme nuclear experiments ever...including the nuclear reactor powered bomber   (physicscentral.com) divider line 55
    More: Cool, nuclear reactors, experiments, Freeman Dyson, liquid metal, General Atomics, natural gas field, South Atlantic, compressed air  
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8490 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Aug 2013 at 12:18 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-16 11:22:18 AM
FTFA, "No airplane was ever built that was actually powered by a nuclear reactor "
 
2013-08-16 12:20:03 PM
The cafeteria at a 50s era think tank (I think the Rand Corporation) was built in the form of the proposed
crew deck of an Orion spacecraft.
 
2013-08-16 12:22:40 PM
My dad was in the Air Force when the B-36's were being phased out.  Said that you didn't have to
look up to see what was coming in for a landing or taking off.  HUGE aircraft. 230 foot wingspan,
162 foot from nose to tail. Darn thing was so huge, they could carry a crew, and a relief crew.
Bunk beds in the back.  When originally built, they only had 2 main tires, and there were only
2 airports that the runways could support the weight!  If you want to see a B-36 "in action" pick
up the old Jimmy Stewart movie "Strategic Air Command".  Great flick.
6 turning & 4 burning.
 
2013-08-16 12:22:43 PM
No water chip?
 
2013-08-16 12:23:28 PM
All together now: "SCIENCE!"
 
2013-08-16 12:24:36 PM
Is this from the fallout universe?

/ their cars had reactors in them, fer Christ's sakes
 
2013-08-16 12:25:40 PM
Richard P. Feynman held a patent for a jet engine that held a hot nuclear core.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc9gwPB78lk
 
2013-08-16 12:26:01 PM
Why is the Orion engine always there?
Getting really old now. In fact, all this stuff has been outed like every 6 months since 2000.
 
2013-08-16 12:26:02 PM
I, for one, not only want nuclear thermal rockets to become a reality, but nuclear pulse propulsion, too.

/I'm still giddy for having met Freeman Dyson once.
 
2013-08-16 12:28:08 PM

DjangoStonereaver: The cafeteria at a 50s era think tank (I think the Rand Corporation) was built in the form of the proposed
crew deck of an Orion spacecraft.


I can confirm this (I own the building) it's my indoor golf course now. The cafeteria bathrooms are now a water hazard.
 
2013-08-16 12:28:58 PM

KarmicDisaster: FTFA, "No airplane was ever built that was actually powered by a nuclear reactor "


However quite a few reactor-powered satellites were built and launched (mostly by the Soviets).
 
2013-08-16 12:30:11 PM
What, none of the experiments that got the "Demon core" it's nickname? No Tickling The Dragon's Tail?
 
2013-08-16 12:30:50 PM
Shame on them, no project pluto reference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pluto

In short a unshielded reactor powered cruise missile that would fly at supersonic speed at tree level.  Sometimes it would kick a warhead out of one if it's eight payload bays.

Someone pointed out ..'uh, this does spew out radiation when flying.'  So someone thought it should be programmed to fly over specified areas after kicking out all of the warhead until it couldn't fly.

The cool part is this is before GPS and it uses geographic features to guide itself.  If it was built, the Soviets vetoed it for some reason.

/Pure evil.
 
2013-08-16 12:36:56 PM

Ivo Shandor: KarmicDisaster: FTFA, "No airplane was ever built that was actually powered by a nuclear reactor "

However quite a few reactor-powered satellites were built and launched (mostly by the Soviets).


The Soviets made tons of stuff nuclear powered. Apparently there are Soviet nuclear powered navigational beacons up in the Artic circle that still function perfectly well. And their icebreaker ships were nuclear as well.
 
2013-08-16 12:38:27 PM
Atomic Fracking!
 
2013-08-16 12:39:21 PM
Don't forget this gem:

Www.implantable-device.com/2011/12/24/medtronic-atomic-pacemaker-1970 /

Didn't work out.
 
2013-08-16 12:39:58 PM
t1.gstatic.com

This is what happens when you put nuclear experiments in the hands of deep core drillers.
 
2013-08-16 12:50:51 PM

Felgraf: What, none of the experiments that got the "Demon core" it's nickname? No Tickling The Dragon's Tail?


The demon core. What an awesome name. And it's final yield was higher that predicted.

/the dude with the screwdriver was just an idiot.
 
2013-08-16 12:51:13 PM

Best Princess Celestia: Why is the Orion engine always there?
Getting really old now. In fact, all this stuff has been outed like every 6 months since 2000.


Because:

1. It's very technically feasible, and
2. If we hadn't stopped development, we could have had manned missions to Mars and the outer solar system by now, and perhaps had an unmanned interstellar probe half-way to the Alpha Centauri system by now.
 
2013-08-16 12:56:11 PM

p51d007: My dad was in the Air Force when the B-36's were being phased out.  Said that you didn't have to
look up to see what was coming in for a landing or taking off.  HUGE aircraft. 230 foot wingspan,
162 foot from nose to tail. Darn thing was so huge, they could carry a crew, and a relief crew.
Bunk beds in the back.  When originally built, they only had 2 main tires, and there were only
2 airports that the runways could support the weight!  If you want to see a B-36 "in action" pick
up the old Jimmy Stewart movie "Strategic Air Command".  Great flick.
6 turning & 4 burning.


Be careful when they say they are going to takeoff and land at the same airport...  might be a while..


They finally have the B-36 display up at the Pima Air Museum in Tuscon next to the Edwards AFB B-52 mothership for the x-15 program should anyone want to see one in person.
 
2013-08-16 01:13:38 PM

Felgraf: What, none of the experiments that got the "Demon core" it's nickname? No Tickling The Dragon's Tail?


^^
That.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_ core
 
2013-08-16 01:14:14 PM

dittybopper: Best Princess Celestia: Why is the Orion engine always there?
Getting really old now. In fact, all this stuff has been outed like every 6 months since 2000.

Because:

1. It's very technically feasible, and
2. If we hadn't stopped development, we could have had manned missions to Mars and the outer solar system by now, and perhaps had an unmanned interstellar probe half-way to the Alpha Centauri system by now.


This, except that it is also a textbook example of unintended consequences:  one of the major design goals
of the project was to create efficient nuclear bombs the size of basketballs, and apparently they may well
have succeededl.  Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure since most of the technical details are
still classified, but if so I can understand why the US was reluctant to build it for real since I'm sure there are
other uses for nuclear weapons that small that would be outside of their design parameters.

This is an excellent, dare I say definitive, book on the subject, and is an enjoyable read to boot.
 
2013-08-16 01:18:04 PM
Project Plowshare

cf.badassdigest.com
 
2013-08-16 01:32:15 PM
There was a proposal for a larger Panama canal to be built excavated with H-bombs which would accommodate the larger tankers which were being built at the time and would not need locks since the entire structure would be at sea level.  The original French design was like this and they failed because of the large amount or earth moving required.
 
2013-08-16 01:32:45 PM

dittybopper: Best Princess Celestia: Why is the Orion engine always there?
Getting really old now. In fact, all this stuff has been outed like every 6 months since 2000.

Because:

1. It's very technically feasible, and
2. If we hadn't stopped development, we could have had manned missions to Mars and the outer solar system by now, and perhaps had an unmanned interstellar probe half-way to the Alpha Centauri system by now.


Also, project Orion remains the height of mad science.  While tests showed that any launch from standard bases would be bad (all radioactive material caught in the magnetosphere would return to Earth), you can still launch from the North and South poles relatively safely.  Not to mention that starting/returning from Lagrange point 2 would be completely feasible.
 
2013-08-16 01:38:27 PM

DVDave: [t1.gstatic.com image 300x168]

This is what happens when you put nuclear experiments in the hands of deep core drillers.


Bad acting, cheap CGI, and wanting a few hours of your life back?
 
2013-08-16 01:42:45 PM

blugenes: DVDave: [t1.gstatic.com image 300x168]

This is what happens when you put nuclear experiments in the hands of deep core drillers.

Bad acting, cheap CGI, and wanting a few hours of your life back?


But..but..but...EXPLOSIONS!!!!!!1!1
 
2013-08-16 01:47:10 PM
4.bp.blogspot.com

LOL HELLYA
 
2013-08-16 01:47:59 PM
Any guesses (or better yet, informed answers) about what happens if you try to use Pluto's Mach 3 500MW power source as a launch vehicle?  Would it scale to near orbital velocity as the drag went down?  If that isn't enough, you could still use the air rushing through as a scram jet (candle in a hurricane?  You are heating the stuff up with a nuclear reactor.  It will burn).

Hopefully you would have the same low radiation profile of Orion at the South Pole, but even if you could scale the thing down to much less power (but getting rid of the SCRAMJET lighting issue) it might be worth it.
 
2013-08-16 01:59:36 PM
Has no problem with this.

emmajamesondotcom.files.wordpress.com
blogs.airspacemag.com
 
2013-08-16 02:04:18 PM

broken jebus: Project Plowshare


The fact that he wholeheartedly approved of Project Plowshare is proof that Edward Teller was insane
 
2013-08-16 02:17:57 PM

DVDave: [t1.gstatic.com image 300x168]

This is what happens when you put nuclear experiments in the hands of deep core drillers.


That's Armageddon. Note that the Deep Impact ship used an Orion drive.
 
2013-08-16 02:19:10 PM

KarmicDisaster: FTFA, "No airplane was ever built that was actually powered by a nuclear reactor "


They did, however, fly planes with reactors that exuded the estimated radiation levels of a nuclear-powered plane.  The pilots, if I heard correctly, weren't legally permitted to stay in the cockpits more than a few hours.
 
2013-08-16 02:19:22 PM

Rand's lacy underwear: DjangoStonereaver: The cafeteria at a 50s era think tank (I think the Rand Corporation) was built in the form of the proposed
crew deck of an Orion spacecraft.

I can confirm this (I own the building) it's my indoor golf course now. The cafeteria bathrooms are now a water hazard.


"Hold my beer and watch this! I'm going to drive a nuke!"
 
2013-08-16 02:26:24 PM
"contacting the Coca-Cola company to design a mechanism for vending the hydrogen bombs"

I'll get my coins.
 
2013-08-16 02:26:45 PM

kyleaugustus: I, for one, not only want nuclear thermal rockets to become a reality, but nuclear pulse propulsion, too.

/I'm still giddy for having met Freeman Dyson once.


That guy makes great vaccum cleaners.
 
2013-08-16 03:28:28 PM
That guy makes great vaccum cleaners.

The Dyson "ball" vacuum used to crack me up every time.
 
2013-08-16 04:03:07 PM
Missing the one from the thread yesterday where they launched a Minuteman by airdropping it out the back of a C5.
 
2013-08-16 04:03:45 PM

studebaker hoch: That guy makes great vaccum cleaners.

The Dyson "ball" vacuum used to crack me up every time.


You don't have to buy the lighter models.  You can buy a darker one.

OK, now I *KNOW* that will be obscure.
 
2013-08-16 04:08:58 PM

DjangoStonereaver: nfortunately, there is no way to know for sure since most of the technical details are
still classified, but if so I can understand why the US was reluctant to build it for real since I'm sure there are
other uses for nuclear weapons that small that would be outside of their design parameters.


And we actually built nuclear weapons that small
 
2013-08-16 04:10:21 PM

DjangoStonereaver: dittybopper: Best Princess Celestia: Why is the Orion engine always there?
Getting really old now. In fact, all this stuff has been outed like every 6 months since 2000.

Because:

1. It's very technically feasible, and
2. If we hadn't stopped development, we could have had manned missions to Mars and the outer solar system by now, and perhaps had an unmanned interstellar probe half-way to the Alpha Centauri system by now.

This, except that it is also a textbook example of unintended consequences:  one of the major design goals
of the project was to create efficient nuclear bombs the size of basketballs, and apparently they may well
have succeededl.  Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure since most of the technical details are
still classified, but if so I can understand why the US was reluctant to build it for real since I'm sure there are
other uses for nuclear weapons that small that would be outside of their design parameters.

This is an excellent, dare I say definitive, book on the subject, and is an enjoyable read to boot.


The real reason we didn't build it was because under a treaty we signed, it's illegal for us to detonate any nuclear weapons in space, regardless of the intent.
 
2013-08-16 04:10:27 PM

dittybopper: DjangoStonereaver: nfortunately, there is no way to know for sure since most of the technical details are
still classified, but if so I can understand why the US was reluctant to build it for real since I'm sure there are
other uses for nuclear weapons that small that would be outside of their design parameters.

And we actually built nuclear weapons that small


wow in the long history of terrible farking ideas, that one is a doozy.
 
2013-08-16 04:12:16 PM

WelldeadLink: "Hold my beer and watch this! I'm going to drive a nuke!"


I think there was a cartoon I watched as a kid with someone driving nuclear golf balls... Is that what you're referring to? I can't remember what it was.
 
2013-08-16 05:10:21 PM

Voiceofreason01: wow in the long history of terrible farking ideas, that one is a doozy.


Well, yes, and no.

It's really not that big of a "bang".  Maximum output was a single kiloton, and you could dial the yield down to 10 tons worth.  So basically, from about MOAB size on the lower end, up to a tiny fraction (less than 10%) of Hiroshima.

It's the kind of thing that might get mistaken for a very big conventional bomb.

Plus, it gives a lot of flexibility for deployment by small teams, and at the time it was developed there were basically only two nations with the capability to produce them.

Don't read this if you want to sleep tonight, though.
 
2013-08-16 07:48:40 PM
In 1970, right at the cusp of the "nuclear good" and "nuclear bad" periods, the University of Arizona Press put out a book called Education For Peaceful Uses Of Nuclear Explosives.  It is so anachronistic that it is a hoot to read, like science from an alternative reality, Venture Brothers stuff, if you can find a copy.

In it, they talk about digging big canals, earthen dams, and other massive engineering projects with nuclear explosives.  At the time there were nuclear explosives engineering majors at many universities, listed in the book, that within just a few years ceased to exist.

One of their most likely projects was planned to be the construction of an earthen dam in southern Arizona, in a flood plain.  Of course it was never built, and perhaps a decade or two ago they had a terrible flood down there that would have been prevented.

The old weird children's animated TV show Clutch Cargo even used the enlarging of the Panama Canal with nuclear explosives in one of its plot lines.
 
2013-08-16 09:30:06 PM
DjangoStonereaver:

This, except that it is also a textbook example of unintended consequences:  one of the major design goals
of the project was to create efficient nuclear bombs the size of basketballs, and apparently they may well
have succeededl.


They did! If you're talking the size of the total assembly, then yes, they passed basketball sized quite a while back. Softball-sized is the new goal.

There was sort of an unintended consequence thing there, too, in that a new explosives technology originally intended for zero-maintenance weapon designs turned out just dandy for small ones as well.
 
2013-08-16 09:36:54 PM
dittybopper:
And we actually built nuclear weapons that small

Those were a bit bigger than a basketball. The whole thing fit in a biggish ruck. There was a combination lock, all the combinations were the same, a timer and a toggle switch. There was a WSA with several racks of them where I was stationed in Germany. They were there until the base closed down and relocated to Stuttgart in '89-90, and at that time the SADMs were decommissioned and returned to the States instead of trucking them over to Stuttgart.
 
2013-08-16 10:32:58 PM

erewhon: Those were a bit bigger than a basketball.


These weren't:

upload.wikimedia.org
W-54 warhead from a Davy Crockett, the same basic device used in the SADM.

We made them even smaller than that:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-08-16 11:40:37 PM

dittybopper: erewhon: Those were a bit bigger than a basketball.

These weren't:


W-54 warhead from a Davy Crockett, the same basic device used in the SADM.

We made them even smaller than that:


Basketballs are that big in your world? Look at the guy's arm in relation to the weapon. I said it was a bit bigger. It is. Even with some of the casing stripped for a SADM, it's still a bit bigger than a basketball.

The howitzer shell was what I was referring to when I said we had long ago gotten them smaller than a basketball. However, that warhead was dropped from consideration almost as soon as it was designed, it's inherently unsafe and doesn't meet DOE's specs. For one, it's vulnerable to fratricide, for another it's a single point trigger design and had no PAL, worse, with sp designs it doesn't take but a few minutes to bypass PAL anyway.

They're two different designs, also. The howitzer shell is a topology changer. That's how the Russians do "suitcase nukes", very crappy inefficient low yield weapons. But they're small. Generally single or double point triggers.
 
2013-08-17 06:32:43 AM

dittybopper: erewhon: Those were a bit bigger than a basketball.

These weren't:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 764x600]
W-54 warhead from a Davy Crockett, the same basic device used in the SADM.

We made them even smaller than that:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 425x335]




"Please do not poke the nuclear warhead."
 
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