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Nuclear rocket motors work by heating a gas and allowing it to expand out of the exhaust. To get the most thrust from your gas you want the momentum of the gas molecules to be as high as possible, because the force is equal to the rate of change of momentum of the gas molecules. Suppose the nuclear reactor heats the gas to a temperature $T$, then the ...

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As rockets have finite fuel capacity and important parameter is how much rocket velocity can be achieved in a given situation per unit of fuel mass consumed. The higher the exhaust velocity the more effectively the fuel mass is utilised. Issues such as energy required are also important but generally exhaust velocity or "specific impulse" is amongst the most ...

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Considering that the fuel element is called "fusion core", I guess they use fusion reactors, not fission. But in reality fusion reactors are not cost-effective and require extreme temperatures to initiate a fusion reaction (see "tokamak" to get an idea and see the size). There were some news about a team of scientists who made some progress on that kind of ...

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The transmutation of nuclear waste is a well developed research area. There was extensive work done a Dubna regarding this area. If you're looking to get into this area, there is the publication "Nuclear Methods for Transmutation of Nuclear Waste: Problems, Perspectives, Cooperative Research" published back in 1996.

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I've heard that the military has satellites orbiting earth with gamma detectors installed in them. The phenomenon of Gamma Ray Bursts was discovered when these satellites kept detecting gamma rays when no nuclear weapons were going off. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_(satellite)

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This is basically what the pressure-tube design in the CANDU reactor is. The K-infinity for a 2D CANDU bundle is (from DRAGON calculations we did in a course run by E. Nichita) about 1.12 - each one of them is critical on its own. All the bundles are surrounded by a common D2O moderator.

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If a neutron escapes from a reactor in the direction of another reactor, it can still induce fission in the other reactor, so it would not make sense to put a neutron reflector in regions between the reactors. In that sense, when considering multiple reactors put close together, the reflectors would need to be put all around them, as in the case of a single ...

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The application of active deconstruction schemes to manage nuclear waste has long history as a proposal, but has not yet been demonstrated as technologically practical. The usual schemes (i.e. the ones people have put time and money into and are still looking at) use electron beams (either directly or as a bremstrahlung source) because electron beams are ...

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