[ RadSafe ] Japanese Nuclear, Weather, Etc.
darrougj at onid.orst.edu
Fri Oct 5 16:07:24 CDT 2012
Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators, or RTGs, provide electrical power
for spacecraft by converting the heat generated by the decay of
plutonium-238 (Pu-238) fuel into electricity using devices called
thermocouples. Since they have no moving parts that can fail or wear out,
RTGs have historically been viewed as a highly reliable power option.
Thermocouples have been used in RTGs for a total combined time of over 300
years, and a not a single thermocouple has ever ceased producing power.
Jim Darrough, Oregon State University Health Physicist
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