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Nuclear waste disposal on Jupiter?

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posted on Sep, 12 2003 @ 02:42 PM
Very interesting article at least...

I do find the worst case scenario very interesting, although I dont think there is much sleep to be lost that dropping a spent RTG generator into Jupiter will eventually result in the end of all life in the solar system

Jupiter: Giant Trash Can—or Bomb?

How to dispose of radioactive materials is a major problem. It's not just medical waste—it's also the radioactive materials that power space satellites that we need to worry about. Jupiter has always been the "trash can" of our Solar System, absorbing the blows from space rocks that might otherwise destroy smaller planets (like us). Now there are plans to crash a spent satellite into Jupiter, making it a burial place for nuclear material as well.

No one knows what will happen when Galileo crashes into Jupiter, and some people are afraid that its power plant could explode on impact like a nuclear bomb. It could even produce a fusion chain reaction that would keep exploding until Jupiter ignites, becoming a new star. If that happened, it would send out radiation that would reach the Earth and kill every living thing.

posted on Sep, 12 2003 @ 03:16 PM
Don't let Anubus read that, it'll give him ideas! oh er no sorry watching too much SG-1

How big it the reactor on a satellite, if it is a reactor. No idea how it works. I can see why people might be worried. It's a gas giant so maybe a nuke could start a chain reaction.

posted on Sep, 12 2003 @ 05:02 PM
Galileo is powered by a Radioisotope Thermal Generator, or RTG. This is not a reactor in the classic sense, that reacts 2 subcritical masses for thermal energy to be converted into steam, and generate electricity with a steam turbine. Such a system would be far too large and heavy for a space probe.

Instead, an RTG uses a thermocouple to convert the thermal energy produced by the natural decay of radioactive masses directly into electricity. It is less efficient and far more expensive than a standard reactor, but it is compact and lightweight, and offers long term power output for such space probes.

Because Voyager had to fly so far from the Sun (which appears virtually as a bright point of light from the distance of Neptune), it could not rely on sunlight for energy. Instead, it was powered by heat from the radioactive decay of plutonium -- all this occurring safely, without the slightest mishap, in a component of the spacecraft called an RTG, for "radioisotope thermoelectric generator."

Galileo also will be powered by radioactive plutonium. There is no alternative. To power Galileo by solar panels, the spacecraft would have to be as big as a house; to power it by batteries would add so much weight that the mission would never fly -- at least on any U.S. launch vehicle in existence or now under development. But plutonium can be deadly, and the Galileo RTG's have now begun to alarm many people. A lawsuit has been filed in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. -- by the Washington-based religiousaffiliated Christic Institute and other organizations -- to stop the Galileo launch on the grounds that it may pose a serious danger to public health. Meanwhile, the White House, after considering the dangers, has given the go-ahead for launch.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has provided radioisotope thermoelectric generators for space applications since 1961. These generators provide electrical power for spacecraft by direct conversion of the heat generated by the decay of plutonium-238 (Pu-238) oxide to electrical energy. The first generator was used on the Navy Transit 4A spacecraft launched on June 29, 1961. Between 1961 and 1972, DOE provided power systems for six Navy navigational satellites. In addition, DOE provided power systems for two Air Force communications satellites, LES 8 and LES 9, both launched together on March 14, 1976.

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:12 AM
So since we're subcritical, I don't think it will blow....

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:05 PM

NASA plans to crash its $1.5 billion Galileo spacecraft into Jupiter next weekend to make sure it doesn't accidentally contaminate the red planet's ice-covered moon Europa with bacteria from Earth

Why do they not want to contaminate Europa?

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:09 PM
This event (i.e. Galileo and its battery) crashing into Jupiter has been discussed in a conspiracy concerning Luciferianism and the NWO.

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:10 PM
Val, do you have a link to that thread?

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:18 PM
No thread...William Cooper's Behold a Pale Horse discusses this...along with about every other Illuminati, NWO, Trilateral, CFR conspiracy there is. It is pretty much a compendium of "they're gonna take us over" conspiracies.

He goes into great detail about Luciferianism, tracing back thru to the Year of the Light and how when Galileo enters Jupiters atmosphere it will set off the return of the Light (Lucifer).

[Edited on 14-9-2003 by Valhall]

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:25 PM
Ummmm OK.....

I fail to see how this will work when a substantially subcritical mass to begin with, that has had several years to decay to an even less energetic state is going to go supercritical.

Keep in mind, RTGs first of all use material unsuitable for nuclear fission, much less suitable for supercritical high energy reactions. Also, the RTG unit itself is designed to stay intact and protect the generator core and fuel in the event of a crash or explosion, so is unlikely to open up on reentry.

And, the layout of the fuel pellets inside the RTG just isnt correct to support a massive supercritical reaction, even if the fuel pellets were able to support one....

Someone is writing sci fi on crack here....

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:27 PM
Right. That's exactly how I took when I first read it
. I'm just pointing out that the transvestite-crack-addict sci-fi NWO conspiracy theories include this one.

posted on Sep, 14 2003 @ 02:38 PM
No one here seriously believes crashing a space probe into Jupiter will cause it to blow up....right? If you do, you need a smack to the noggin.

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