Author Topic: UK Nuclear fuel for ESA spacecraft ?  (Read 1243 times)

Offline Apollo-phill

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UK Nuclear fuel for ESA spacecraft ?
« on: 09/12/2012 05:25 PM »
A teletext message on BBC Cumbria and Northwest is saying that the Sellafield nuclear power station is working on the idea of converting "waste nuclear fuel" into RTG 'fuel' for ESA spacecraft.

I have no other details about this


Offline AnalogMan

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Re: UK Nuclear fuel for ESA spacecraft ?
« Reply #1 on: 09/12/2012 05:42 PM »
Nuclear waste set to power spacecraft
Andrew Bounds, Financial Times September 9, 2012

Britain’s nuclear waste could be used to power spacecraft as part of government attempts to offset the huge cost of the atomic clean-up by finding commercial uses for the world’s largest stock of civil plutonium.

A £1m pilot programme by the European Space Agency has shown that nuclear batteries for use on deep space missions could be made from an isotope found in decaying plutonium at the Sellafield waste storage site in Cumbria.

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: UK Nuclear fuel for ESA spacecraft ?
« Reply #2 on: 09/12/2012 05:44 PM »
Here's the online article,

Nuclear space batteries could boost Sellafield jobs

Up to 50 jobs could be created at Sellafield in the development of nuclear batteries to power spacecraft.

Chemists at Britain's National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) plan to make the batteries using Sellafield's large store of waste plutonium.

The batteries could then be used as a power supply for the European Space Agency's (ESA) spacecraft.

This is related to the comments I have made in this discussion,

Edit: Here's a pdf of more details on the programme,
« Last Edit: 09/12/2012 05:55 PM by Alpha_Centauri »