a reply to: 1947boomer
We don't know that there was a release of iodine with this event.
The whole hafnium idea rests on the reported ability to raise the release level/rate using a relatively low ( under 300KeV) source of photons
(X-rays). They call it Induced Gamma Emmisions (IGE).
Does that work? There's a lot of controversy. Initial reports say yes. Some saying they could get 60 times the energy-out compared to energy-in.
Several later reports said, no. Somewhat curiously a method of producing quantities of hafnium was developed a little after many reports said it
probably wasn't feasible. What is clear is the US has spent a lot of money trying to demonstrate this. For a couple decades now. Maybe it works.
Maybe they seed money to get other people to chase something that doesn't work. Maybe it is feasible, but not perfected. Maybe not.
IF it works, the gamma release would theoretically be about two magnitudes lower than fission, but several magnitudes larger than anything else. It
also is essentially just decaying hafnium, which while nasty is considerably safer than fission and its byproducts.
There are patients out there for turbine engines using this technique. There are also hybrid designs that ignite and burn a portions of the
liquid-hydrogen used to dump the heat to add even more energy to the turbine. All this would meet the "isotopic powersource for liquid propellant
powerplants"-talk at the most literal level.
There are studies out there from the USAF, Navy, and Army about possible ways of utilizing this. Scientific journals. AFRL, DARPA, etc all have
information available. All misdirection? Possibly. Hopelessly fraught with problems? Possibly. Does it actually work? Possibly.
But I'm pretty sure that's what is being alluded to in Russia. Start the X-ray emission, irradiate the hafnium, gamma is released, convert to heat
liquid hydrogen, drop all that heat between a compressor and turbine, convert some of that turbine energy into mechanical energy to generate
electricity to continue to power the X-Ray machine, the rest dumps out thrust.
Makes me wonder if Trump's "we have similar engines that actually work" is simple braggadocio or just a taunt to make them throw money at the
impossible. Or maybe it's a double fake, and Russia is trying to convince us they made it work after we gave up on it.
edit on 16-8-2019 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)