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SCO reactor project

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posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:05 PM
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The FBO page has a rather interesting RFI posted on it. It calls for a reactor capable of up to 10 megawatts of power, using ambient air for cooling, that weighs less than 40 tons, can fit on a C-17, can run semi-autonomously for three years without refueling. The most interesting part is that it needs to be incapable of suffering a meltdown in various failure states.

Phase I will select up to three designs and complete detailed design work. Phase II will include materials purchase and prototype work. Selection is expected by Spring, dependent on information received from the RFI.

Small mobile reactor RFI




posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:13 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

What do you think it is going to power? A laser maybe?



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:18 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

That's one possibility, but that's a lot of power to be throwing around. Several people have been moving ideas around and there's an interesting clue in the RFI, but we're still a little stumped.



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:20 PM
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There are still some of these rusting out in the desert that you can find with google map.

You would think they would have made some progress into miniaturization by now, but what would happen if someone captured one of the new power plants and reverse engineered it?

www.idahomagazine.com...



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Wow, that really interesting. I wonder if this will go black budget? Also, I find their reasoning for the development of such a reactor interesting. We see in the RFI you refer to it says:


Energy is a critical enabling component of military operations and demand for it will continue to increase over time. In particular, energy usage during contingency operations will likely increase significantly over the next few decades. The modern operational space has amplified the need for alternative energy sources to enable mobility in forward land based and maritime military operations. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, OUSD(R&E), acting through the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), is requesting information on innovative technologies and approaches to enable a future demonstration of a small mobile nuclear reactor prototype design.



Also, its important to note that similar technology was used in Antarctica

A link to info about nuclear power at McMurdo Station

It does sound like the new one will be even smaller in size.



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

One would believe that the government wouldn’t waste time on impossible projects however the amount of cooling air flow required for a net 10 mwhr output would be enormous. No way it would fly, pun intended, with our present understanding of physics.

Imho



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I am thinking an airborne laser or maybe even a rail gun.



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:39 PM
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originally posted by: whywhynot
a reply to: Zaphod58

One would believe that the government wouldn’t waste time on impossible projects however the amount of cooling air flow required for a net 10 mwhr output would be enormous. No way it would fly, pun intended, with our present understanding of physics.

Imho


The temperature at 40,000 feet is about -70F, if you had a lot of airflow would that work?



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:43 PM
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a reply to: whywhynot

There are actually several very interesting things in there, such as the fuel, that provide very interesting clues as to what they're planning.



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 08:48 PM
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They were talking about micro-fusion reactors 50 years ago, but

nanowires made out of a material called deuterated polyethylene
is new. Must still be classified it it exists. You can make very efficient reactors that require little cooling theoretically.



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:00 PM
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This Military Aerospace article provides some interesting insights:


Small mobile nuclear reactors could make the U.S. military domestic infrastructure resilient to an electrical grid attack and fundamentally change the logistics of forward operating bases by making more energy available and by drastically simplifying complex fuel logistical lines, which rely primarily on diesel-powered generators.


Eliminating the need to transport large amounts of diesel fuel to power conventional generators sounds like a good reason to pursue this technology. Transporting fuel to forward operating bases is self-evidently difficult. However, in the case of wide-spread domestic power outages, shipping fuel is similarly difficult because of the failure of the transportation infrastructure.

-dex



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:24 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars

originally posted by: whywhynot
a reply to: Zaphod58

One would believe that the government wouldn’t waste time on impossible projects however the amount of cooling air flow required for a net 10 mwhr output would be enormous. No way it would fly, pun intended, with our present understanding of physics.

Imho


The temperature at 40,000 feet is about -70F, if you had a lot of airflow would that work?


The thing that is important and significant isn’t air temperature as much as it is the latent heat of vaporization. It’s that power of condensation of water that is used normally to cool power electrical power plants. That value is 970/BYU’s per lb. Using air for cooling, without considering efficiency for a moment, can only cool 1 btu per lb. so even at - 70 the air flow would need to be massive. Then think about drag collecting that airflow and weight of those air condensers.

Not much hope imho



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:25 PM
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a reply to: DexterRiley

If they use a microfusion reactor for domestic power I guess they could afford the weight of two generators so one can be off line getting its deuterated polyethylene reloaded while the other powers the base?



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:34 PM
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After more reading I believe this is portable for transport but only intended to operate on land. I am unaware of any nuclear powered electrical generators that don’t use steam. Anyone understand differently please do tell. If so physics require at 100% efficiency a pound of water to cool a pound of steam.

Warp drive and other Star Trek stuff excluded.
edit on 24-1-2019 by whywhynot because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: whywhynot

A very short weak plasma burst might heat a very well insulated thermo electric process.

So if these units exist to power satellites they could be scaled to 10 megawatts.


edit on 24-1-2019 by Slichter because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:47 PM
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originally posted by: whywhynot
After more reading I believe this is portable for transport but only intended to operate on land. I am unaware of any nuclear powered electrical generators that don’t use steam. Anyone understand differently please do tell. If so physics require at 100% efficiency a pound of water to cool a pound of steam.

Warp drive and other Star Trek stuff excluded.


I agree, it wouldnt seem to be practical as an airborne power supplier, by the time you add in the weight of the reactor, the boiler, the generator, and the water storage, its getting pretty damn heavy.



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:48 PM
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originally posted by: Slichter
a reply to: DexterRiley

If they use a microfusion reactor for domestic power I guess they could afford the weight of two generators so one can be off line getting its deuterated polyethylene reloaded while the other powers the base?


For any long term use I think they would probably have multiple reactors to provide redundancy anyway.

But the RFI specifies that these units should operate for 3 years before they require refueling, so theoretically the military should have more permanent power generation in place before it's time to refuel.

-dex



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:51 PM
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originally posted by: Slichter
a reply to: whywhynot

A very short weak plasma burst might heat a very well insulated thermo electric process.

So if these units exist to power satellites they could be scaled to 10 megawatts.


Well someday we may have transporters too but you will not see it. The nuclear powered satellites didn’t work out so well. And even if they had this would be a huge scale upgrade. Having worked on engineering upgrades I can say from experience that they are challenging at best.

I think this is just another huge waste of our tax dollars. If they want todo R&D work on something with a closer event horizon.

With all of that said who knows what is classified?



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:52 PM
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a reply to: DexterRiley

The ones from 1964 were going to squirt deuterium into a vacuum chamber to burn very precisely.
I agree if this is a conventional fission reactor its going to have to be cooled with something exotic like liquid sodium in an insulated vessel to achieve the specs. And I doubt it would be safe to fly.



posted on Jan, 24 2019 @ 09:55 PM
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Read the RFI carefully. The fuel is a very interesting clue. This isn't just spending money to spend money. There's a very good reason for this, and it will prove very useful long term.




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