[ RadSafe ] More Fission Space Propulsion

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Sat Dec 4 23:52:31 CST 2010

Dear Radsafe,
      This is from:    _jpreisig at aol.com_ (mailto:jpreisig at aol.com)       .
      I guess not much has been said here about  using enriched uranium in 
a reactor for space 
rocket propulsion.  Enrichment very much above the usual power reactor  
level of about 5 % helps a 
rocket get places faster.  The rocket would use a fission ion  propulsion 
drive or whatever.
Heck, if I could get it, I would take 99 % (plus) enrichment.  Since  the 
reactor is in a reactor
configuration, with fuel rods, control rods, moderating matter, etc. one  
(after an initial
criticality analysis) need not worry about such a reactor acting like a  
nuclear device.  An enriched
uranium reactor might do a factor of times 20 better than a typical power  
reactor.  Such enrichment
propulsion is not discussed in Dyson's article in Maglich's Adventure in  
Experimental Physics.
Maybe a reactor using fast neutrons also might do even better than  this.
     No  wonder many high enrichment  reactors were decommissioned.  Wonder 
if the US government
still does work on this.
    Seems like CERN (the Large Hadron Collider) and  Brookhaven (RHIC --- 
Relativistic Heavy Ion
Collider) are headed to making lead (Pb) on lead reactions happen at very  
high energies.  Will they
be creating things like Uranium???  Guess I'll have to add up the mass  of 
two lead nuclei.
     Some fellow named Vetter out in California has  been working on genome 
mapping at a higher
work rate than that happening at the US national labs and  Universities.  
Guess he is stepping on
some research toes.  Once the Human DNA is fairly fully mapped, and  other 
researchers can
routinely grow body organs in lab Petri dishes or other lab containers,  
sounds like these
guys will able to cure diseases like Type I diabetes.  Cost will be a  
consideration, I guess.
People will still look for Organ donors from people who die, and people not 
 getting such organs
may be candidates for transplant with laboratory-grown organs.   WOW!!!!
     Don't really want to talk about this, but the  other day the North 
Koreans had a high level IAEA
type inspector (a well-known guy from Los Alamos) over for a visit to one  
of their diffusion 
enrichment facilities.  I think he was shown hundreds to a few  thousand 
diffusion enrichment
instruments.  My guess is the North Korean's have another or two such  
facilities in more secure
locations.  Or perhaps, after the visit, some of the centrifuges were  
moved to the more secure
locations.  More wow...
     India is working on ICBM's for nuclear device  delivery.
     This is all too much to ponder.  Have a good  week at work.
     Regards,    Joseph R. (Joe)  Preisig, PhD

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