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NEWS: USA To Produce Plutonium 238

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posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 10:47 PM
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The US Department of Energy is poised to begin production of Plutonium 238 at a Federal Nuclear facility in Idaho. The Plutonium is non weapons grade and will be used to power rockets, deep space probes and satellites. The plutonium product is called "Space Batteries" and around half the batteries will be used by NASA and the remaining number for undiclosed national security purposes. This is the first time since the cold war that the USA has produced Plutonium 238 but according to sources stockpiles of the radioactive material are low.
 



www.abc.net.au
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will soon decide whether to move forward with its proposal to produce the radioactive metal at a federal nuclear facility in south-east Idaho, a department spokesman said.

Under the $A393.4 million plan, the Idaho National Laboratory would produce five kilograms of plutonium-238 a year for 30 years starting in 2011.

The non-weapons-grade plutonium is used to power everything from satellites to deep space probes, leading industry insiders to call the finished product "space batteries".



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Many people including residents around the facility in Idaho have disagreed with the proposal citing prior issues over the clean up of nuclear waste at the centre. Idaho officials wants written agreement that the waste will be taken out of state to be disposed of.

[edit on 1-9-2005 by Mayet]




posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 11:01 PM
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This gives away clues as to what propulsion system NASA maybe using for the first geneation of ships, or second generation of shuttles.

I guess its nuclear power all though it could be for moon or planetary colonies and space stations, and not the shuttles or ships.

I still hope they may use the anti-matter propulsion idea. Thanks Mayet.

Vorta



posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 11:41 PM
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Anti-matter is still way out of reach. We can barely produce it at all, let alone getting engines to work on it. But who knows what the government knows that they arent letting us in on.
Cheers,
Dave



posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 11:54 PM
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Plutonium-238 eh? Usually you hear about Uranium-238, because that is its most abundant atomic weight. Plutonium has an atomic weight of 244. I've never heard of a 238 isotope. I had to double-check the source to make sure you quoted it right, and you did. I hope the source has it right. Ditching 6 neutrons from the nucleus is no walk in the park, I'll tell ya.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by covertoperative
Anti-matter is still way out of reach. We can barely produce it at all, let alone getting engines to work on it. But who knows what the government knows that they arent letting us in on.
Cheers,
Dave


Yeah, I know...
, just hear quite a through theories on it, including a report about a NASA idea for an engine.

Vorta



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 03:53 AM
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I guess it's too much to ask that they work on ways to reduce our reliance on other power sources for more things here on planet earth?

Honestly, their timing is just not good!



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