Space nuclear power to be topic at FORNL

Lou Qualls of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate will be the guest speaker at the April 12 lunch meeting of Friends of ORNL. His topic will be, “Space Nuclear Power.”

The meeting is open to the public.

According to an abstract distributed by the group, “Many of our space missions now utilize nuclear energy derived from the radioactive decay heat of plutonium-238.  For future missions requiring substantially more power, the use of fission reactors for propulsion or surface power will be required.”

Qualls will discuss the history of space nuclear power and the prospects for future use on NASA missions.

The meeting will be held at the UT Resource Center, 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike, beginning with social time at 11 a.m. That will be followed by lunch at 11:30 (available from Soup Kitchen at $8 per) and the lecture at noon.

The meeting is open to the public.

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.