Military Review

Russia is working on a nuclear engine


A prototype of the megawatt class nuclear propulsion system designed for interplanetary missions will appear in Russia in the 2017 year.

“Today, scientific and experimental work is underway. Russia is the leader here, despite the fact that it was stagnant, but a lot was done during the Soviet era. This is, for example, the Topaz power plant, the head of Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, told reporters.

“Rosatom is currently developing a nuclear reactor, we (Roskosmos - approx.) - the rest. I think that the prototype will be released in the 2017 year, and there it will be necessary to make a decision whether to make a flight machine or not. But for the time being it is necessary to make a prototype and work it on the ground, ”said V.Popovkin.

Earlier it was reported that the creation of a megawatt-class nuclear power plant for a promising space technology would cost Russia more than 7 billion rubles. According to the documents of Rosatom, "the project is financed at the expense of the federal budget."

According to the plans, by the end of 2017, the preparation of a nuclear power propulsion system will be carried out to complete the transport and energy module (the interplanetary flight module). By the end of 2018, the transport and energy module will be prepared for flight design tests.

The project will form the basis for the implementation of promising space programs for the study and development of deep space, including flights to distant planets, expeditions to Mars, the creation of lunar bases, the documents say.
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  1. vorobey
    vorobey 18 July 2012 12: 36
    flying cosmic kuzkina mother - that's cool. Dual purpose project.
    1. Sakhalininsk
      Sakhalininsk 18 July 2012 13: 24
      Everything in space is actually dual-use.
    2. Tersky
      Tersky 18 July 2012 14: 23
      Quote: vorobey
      flying space kuzkina mother

      Sasha, welcome! All that remains is to deliver this "Kuzkin mother into orbit" with something, given the cited article where Popovkin states that we do not need heavy carriers, this becomes a problem.
      1. Teploteh - nick
        Teploteh - nick 18 July 2012 16: 21
        Quote: Russia is a leader here, despite the fact that it was stagnant, but much was done in Soviet times.
        Glory to the USSR !!! drinks
        Glory to Russia!!! drinks
        Burn in hell - Amer, Nate and Orange !!! am am am
        1. Ribwort
          Ribwort 18 July 2012 20: 33
          Quote: Teploteh - nick
          Glory to the USSR !!!

          Quote: Teploteh - nick
          Glory to Russia!!!

          Quote: Teploteh - nick
          Burn in hell - Amer, Nate and Orange !!!

          All this, of course, is good, right, but talk less with the Neighbor. It seems that the comments in the form of slogans are contagious, transmitted ... I will not even guess which way.
          1. alex-defensor
            alex-defensor 18 July 2012 21: 32
            Projects of nuclear engines really were still in the USSR. Among the projected lineup there was even one that (according to calculations) could accelerate the satellite to 10% of the light speed (30 km / s).

            Quote: vorobey
            flying cosmic kuzkina mother - that's cool. Dual purpose project.

            But such an engine cannot be compared with the "Kuz'ka mother", since such an engine does not have any potential for a nuclear bomb (there is no critical mass, and a special explosive device, for example, according to an implosive scheme)

            Quote: Sakhalininets
            Everything in space is actually dual-use.

            It's right!!!

            Quote: Tersky
            All that remains is to deliver this "kuzka mother into orbit"

            This engine will be output (though there will be pollution, but insignificant, by the way, in the USSR the idea of ​​such engines was abandoned, since both the USSR and the USA were afraid of the race of such engines, and, as a result, of large-scale pollution due to the mass launches).

            Wikipedia has an article: "Nuclear rocket engine"
    3. luiswoo
      luiswoo 18 July 2012 17: 25
      Quote: vorobey
      flying cosmic kuzkina mother - that's cool. Dual purpose project.

      About a nuclear power plant, "Kuz'kina's mother" is as cool as Chernobyl or the "GLONASS underwater group" - cool, this is when it works as intended, without emergency.
      Dual purpose is how? Will the electricity go not only to the ion engines of the station \ satellite, but also to the equipment?
      Gagarin’s followers, damn it, on the topic of one and a half comments and the icteric headline also delivers.
      1. luiswoo
        luiswoo 18 July 2012 19: 21
        A little bit about the history of the issue and prospects.

        Tatyana DEVYATOVA


        The first nuclear reactor used on the spacecraft was the American SNAP-10A (System of Nuclear Auxiliary Power) aboard the Snapshot 440 kg mass launched by the Atlas launch vehicle on 3 on April 1965. The reactor was developed by Boeing for the Air Force and the US Atomic Energy Commission. The thermal neutron reactor used uranium-235 as fuel, zirconium hydride as a moderator and sodium-potassium melt as a coolant. The thermal power of the reactor was about 40 kW. The electrical power provided by the thermoelectric converter ranged from 500 to 650 watts. The reactor worked for 43 days.

        The Soviet Romashka thermoelectric reactor / converter was first launched at the Institute of Atomic Energy (Kurchatov Institute) on 14 on August 1964. A fast neutron reactor had a thermal power of 40 kW and used uranium carbide as fuel. A thermoelectric converter based on silicon-germanium semiconductor elements produced power up to 800 W. Sergei Pavlovich Korolev intended to use the Chamomile on spacecraft in combination with pulsed plasma engines. The tests of the Chamomile ended in the middle of the 1966 year after Korolyov’s death, but the reactor was never used in space.

        The next BES-5 Buk nuclear power plant was used on the US-A radar reconnaissance satellite. The first device of this series was launched on October 31970 from Baikonur (Cosmos-367). Beech itself has been developed since 1960 in the NGO Red Star. The setup included a BR-5A fast neutron reactor with a thermal power of 100 kW. Uranium was used as fuel, and potassium-sodium melt was used as a coolant. From the installation with an output electric power of 3 kW, a side-view radar was fed. In total, from 1970 to 1988, 32 spacecraft were launched with this installation.

        The next Soviet space nuclear power plant was TEU-5 “Topol” (“Topaz-1”), first launched into orbit on February 2 1987 in the experimental spacecraft “Plasma-A” (“Cosmos-1818”). Work on the "Topaz" was carried out from the 1960-ies. Ground tests were started in 1970. Uranium dioxide with 90% enrichment, coolant potassium-sodium melt served as fuel in the reactor. The reactor had a thermal power of 150 kW, and the amount of 235U in the reactor was reduced to 11,5 kg compared to 30 kg in the BES-5 Buk.

        Topaz used a thermionic converter of thermal energy into electrical energy. The output electric power of the converter ranged from 5 to 6,6 kW. With an estimated resource of one year, already on the second SC “Plasma-A” (“Cosmos-1867”), “Topaz” worked for more than 11 months.

        The Yenisei reactor-converter was intended to operate as part of the Ekran-AM television broadcasting satellite, but this project was closed. The product was a reactor, in the core of which were not traditional fuel elements, but integrated power generating channels. They consisted of “tablets” of uranium dioxide enriched to 96%, a cathode, anode, a cesium channel and the rest of the “strapping”. The thermal power of the Yenisei was on the order of 115-135 kW, and the electric power was 4,5-5,5 kW. The coolant was sodium-potassium melt.

        In 1992, the United States purchased two Yenisei nuclear power plants (Topaz-2) in Russia. One of the reactors was supposed to be used in 1995 in the "Nuclear Electric Propulsion Spaceflight Test Program" Space Experiment. However, in 1993, due to budget cuts, it was decided to confine ourselves to ground tests, and in 1996 the project was closed.

        The revival of space nuclear energy

        Today, in the context of modernization and the transition to an innovative development path, space nuclear energy is again becoming relevant. Roscosmos together with Rosatom are proposing to develop a spacecraft project equipped with a nuclear rocket engine with a capacity of more than a megawatt for flights to the Moon and Mars.

        At the 2010 International Astronautical Congress, the head of the Federal Space Agency "Roskosmos" AN Perminov said that "attempts to improve the characteristics of existing propulsion systems are futile ... No matter how much rocket engine specialists around the world work, the possible maximum effect will be calculated in fractions of a percent. Everything has been squeezed out of the existing rocket engines, be they liquid or solid propellants, and attempts to increase the thrust and specific impulse are simply futile. ”A significant increase in these parameters can only be provided by nuclear power propulsion systems (NPP).

        "Nuclear power plants give an increase in times. On the example of a flight to Mars - now it is necessary to fly for 1,5-2 years there and back, and it will be possible to fly in 2-4 months. An alternative to such propulsion systems may appear only in the future. there are no such alternatives to science. "

        According to Perminov, the creation and testing of a transport space system with a nuclear engine will require 17 billion rubles and nine years of operation. 3 billion rubles are needed for preliminary design and technical projects of nuclear power plants with the manufacture and testing of units and systems, another 250 million for a preliminary design of a transport and energy module (TEM). 4,5 billion rubles are required for ground testing of nuclear power plants. The most expensive step (9 billion) is the creation of a TEM based on nuclear power plants. This includes ground and flight tests of the transport and energy module.

        The General Designer, President of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, Vitaly Lopota, at a meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Innovative Legislation under the Presidential Administration, announced that Russia could have a flight version of a space platform with a nuclear power plant by 2015-2018.

        V. Lopota also presented the concept of a universal military spacecraft prepared by Russian rocket engineers. This will be a device with a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 150-500 MW. It will allow observing territories and airspace, providing information superiority, including during armed conflicts, as well as an advantage in indicating goals and management. "He will also be able to solve the tasks of defeat." According to experts, the mass of such a spacecraft will be about 20 tons, the resource is 10-15 years.

        In 2011, it is planned to begin work on the creation of standardized modules of nuclear power plants for spacecraft. The first launches of reactors with capacities from 150 to 500 kW are hoped to be carried out in 2020.

        The development of megawatt-class nuclear power systems for manned spacecraft is critical to maintaining Russia's competitiveness in the space industry, including in the exploration of the Moon and Mars. The Energia corporation is also working on the concept of an atomic space tug, which will more than halve the cost of putting cargo into orbit.

        continued here:
  2. Uncle Serozha
    Uncle Serozha 18 July 2012 12: 38
    The USSR was not only a pioneer in the development of nuclear engines. Moreover, in MVTU at the Faculty of Power Engineering there was even a department (E-8, if my memory serves me), which trained specialists in such engines "for future use."
    I am glad that despite the "timelessness" of the nineties, the backlog turned out to be such that we are still on horseback and are not going to drop our status as the world's first space power.
    Good luck to the developers!
    1. segamegament
      segamegament 18 July 2012 13: 51
      Quote: Uncle Seryozha
      Good luck to the developers!

      as well as good and uninterrupted financing !!!
      1. FID
        FID 18 July 2012 14: 34
        This is likely to be a problem! By rollbacks, 75% of the financing will be consumed in Roscosmos itself!
        1. freedom
          freedom 18 July 2012 15: 04
          It’s for sure! Kickbacks rod in full, insolent.
    2. postman
      postman 21 July 2012 01: 07
      Uncle Seryozha,

      E-8 is a plasma power plants
      E-1 (4) is a nuclear engine, all with virtually no work since the early 90s

      Uncle Seryozha,
      Changes memory.
      E-8 is a plasma power plants.
      E-1 is a taxiway.
      It was 1.1,1.2,1.3,1.4
  3. patriot2
    patriot2 18 July 2012 12: 43
    It’s high time, and then everything is solid fuel and liquid - the XNUMXst century has already begun a long time ago, and all chemical processes in our country are driving astronautics.
    News on +
  4. viruskvartirus
    viruskvartirus 18 July 2012 12: 45
    And this is good! good
  5. 8 company
    8 company 18 July 2012 12: 46
    Something nuclear engine has been doing for 20 years, and it has been postponed yet. It is possible that by the time they finish, it will turn out that they have invented fundamentally new ways of traveling in space, and the engine will be installed in Gorky Park next to the Buran.
    1. Ribwort
      Ribwort 18 July 2012 15: 28
      Quote: Company 8
      by the time they finish, it turns out that they have invented fundamentally new ways of moving in space

      Sails in the solar wind? Or teleportation? I also read fiction at my leisure .... laughing
      1. Odious
        Odious 18 July 2012 16: 00
        8 company
        I do not want to agree with you because it is boring and not promising.
        With this attitude, in due time, and "Buran" and "Energy" and "100" and the mousse of luxury projects were closed. They send private traders into space, and as we flew on the Soyuz (thanks to Korolev), we still fly.
        Less gentlemen.
        1. Ribwort
          Ribwort 18 July 2012 20: 31
          Quote: Odious
          I do not want to agree with you

          Copter, read carefully. My comment was the answer in the ironic form of the 8th company, to
          Quote: Company 8
          fundamentally new ways to travel in space

          But research in the field of nuclear engines is quite a ...
  6. El13
    El13 18 July 2012 12: 48
    The reactors were already manufactured in the Union, they even flew, and only ionic engines are suitable at the moment, apparently, the main difficulty lies in the creation of something else, although what can be thought up here except for a small ion engine ...
  7. pribolt
    pribolt 18 July 2012 12: 50
    Yes, before about nuclear engines for rockets could be read only space fiction. I am very glad that we have such projects good
  8. Northerner
    Northerner 18 July 2012 12: 55
    Quote: pribolt
    Yes, before about nuclear engines for rockets could be read only space fiction. I am very glad that we have such projects

    We still don’t have that, when the hydrocarbons will begin to come to an end, then then from the archives of various research institutes they will begin to get old designs and apply them to everyday life! That's just for our age there will be enough hydrocarbons in abundance, but I hope to see the launch of a manned spacecraft with atomic engines!
  9. GG2012
    GG2012 18 July 2012 12: 57
    The nuclear powered ship will be named Yadryona Vosh
    1. chistii20
      chistii20 18 July 2012 13: 06
      Quote: GG2012
      The nuclear powered ship will be named Yadryona Vosh

      And what is cool Kuzkina mother Yadrena louse In our spirit
      1. GG2012
        GG2012 18 July 2012 13: 37
        I will continue the topic:
        TASS report "Today, in orbit, the Russian nucleus" Kuzkina Mother "docked to the American spacecraft Gay USEI. Docking took place normally. All American astronauts are happy."
        1. Armata
          Armata 18 July 2012 14: 01
          Quote: GG2012
          "Today, in orbit, the Russian nucleus Kuzkina Mother docked with the American Gay USEI spacecraft. The docking took place normally. All American astronauts are happy."

          Do not confuse ours with gays laughing
          1. GG2012
            GG2012 18 July 2012 14: 04
            We are not They. They are not We.
            Where is the confusion here?
      2. afire
        afire 18 July 2012 14: 02
        Nah, better Yadrena Mother)))
        1. Armata
          Armata 18 July 2012 14: 10
          Does anyone seriously believe in this? If we consider that only pensioners work in our aerospace industries, but there are no specialists under 40?
        2. GG2012
          GG2012 18 July 2012 14: 19
          Yes. I agree. And also "Vigorous EKIBASTUZ" wassat
  10. gleb49
    gleb49 18 July 2012 13: 01
    Back in the 70s I saw the TU-95 with atomic engines in Vladimirovka. The truth is in the parking lot.
  11. saturn.mmm
    saturn.mmm 18 July 2012 13: 05
    Archaeologists Popovkin found a project
  12. Senzey
    Senzey 18 July 2012 13: 13
    A nuclear engine is good. It would be where to apply it. We need long-term space programs for the near space exploration program. And this is a huge funding. If we pull well.

    1. FID
      FID 18 July 2012 14: 42
      This thing is not for near space. The thrust is not great, but the expiration is slave. body (most likely this is an improved ion engine, the apparatus "Yantar" was in the USSR, I think it was called) is very fast. For deep space, this is a thing.
  13. Delink
    Delink 18 July 2012 13: 14
    Saturm.mmm No, he himself fell out of the total mass of inventions. fellow
  14. marshes
    marshes 18 July 2012 13: 26
    An interesting plane was Tu-119, flying over the Semipalatinsk test site.
  15. volcano
    volcano 18 July 2012 13: 44
    This is beautiful!
    Russia give deep space !!!!!!

    It would be necessary to stake a planet in the future. And call it Russia. And populate only ours, without amers, Britons and other evil spirits.
    1. Tersky
      Tersky 18 July 2012 14: 27
      Quote: volkan
      populate only ours, without amers, Britons and other evil spirits.

      Vladimir I welcome, it can be easier to evict all those listed on Mars, the main thing is close and much cheaper wink
      1. volcano
        volcano 18 July 2012 14: 47
        Victor, I welcome you
        Have you watched Radio Day?
        There was such a dialogue on the phone.
        Vitaly hello we need help ...........
        I’m not Vital, Oh Volodya I'm sorry we have such a park here, we forgot what’s your name
        Yes, and not Volodya, I ....... I'm Sergey

        And I am Andrey laughing

        And the Thought, in principle, is good, except that in that film, the bird (Mars) is a pity. scientists then kind of say that you can restore the atmosphere, and therefore settle.
        And these ghouls need somewhere to Pluto, away.
      2. gor
        gor 18 July 2012 18: 26
        and you’re kind of clean?)))))))))))) so don’t be surprised why everyone ignited such Yov with love))))))) s ..... is there one sixth of the land and now there’s no place enough. give the planet to them. better have learned to clean up after yourself and you look everything is in order and you will
        1. vorobey
          vorobey 18 July 2012 18: 31
          Oh drew. Hey. Che is jealous all the same that take up so much space.
        2. volcano
          volcano 18 July 2012 18: 33
          and you could not explain more specifically what we did with one sixth of the land.
          And if you know your s .... whether it may contain a lot of options laughing

          But seriously ..... then we ourselves and clean, and yours x ...... but only the mouth and open to our garden.

          Only here we have something else available for all thieves besides a berdanka with salt.
          so you don’t get hungry.

          But seriously, it’s your bosses who have dirtied the whole planet, carrying shit democracy. And you need to clean shit after yourself.
          Give a scoop?
        3. Alexander Romanov
          Alexander Romanov 18 July 2012 18: 41
          Gore, and why on your shoulder straps there are three skulls, probably from great and bright love.
          Quote: gor
          so do not be surprised why everyone flamed with such love for yvs)

          And do not be surprised that they can’t put up with you,
          Quote: gor
          learned to clean up after yourself and you look everything is in order and you will have

          Behind us, the ghost workers are cleaning, come earn some money. The salary is high and most importantly you will, if you do not love, then respect for sure.
        4. DERWISH
          DERWISH 19 July 2012 01: 49
          THIS is some of the amers litter the minds of any European slow-thinking with their crap
    2. Ribwort
      Ribwort 18 July 2012 15: 33
      Quote: volkan
      populate only ours, without amers, Britons and other evil spirits.

      Gays, Alkonauts and drug addicts, I would also weed out smile
    3. karbofos
      karbofos 18 July 2012 17: 24
      I would say not a planet, but a stellar system !!! Attention!!! you have invaded the independent star system "RUSSIA" name or be destroyed !!! laughing laughing laughing
  16. djsa1
    djsa1 18 July 2012 13: 46
    Developments from Soviet times remained, and I think not small.
  17. drossel81
    drossel81 18 July 2012 13: 48
    Progress on the face, Wahue liberals ...)))
  18. B_KypTke
    B_KypTke 18 July 2012 13: 52
    But it seemed like there was some kind of moratorium on the use of nuclear energy in space, for security reasons ... according to their version, a nuclear explosion in space leads to the fact that all the electronics burn out on the ground because the ionosphere works to amplify the electromagnetic pulse ... They pushed that are there any next restrictions?
  19. IRBIS
    IRBIS 18 July 2012 14: 03
    The main thing is not to give the opportunity to attach "legs" to this project, otherwise a lot of sensible inventions and developments have gone to the West recently. Finish it up, pundits, and we'll find an application!
  20. gen.meleshkin
    gen.meleshkin 18 July 2012 14: 17
    The article pleased. The interplanetary engine is a class.
  21. scrack
    scrack 18 July 2012 15: 31
    We’ll make a nuclear engine for ICBMs, and then the Yankees will not be saved by their missile defense
  22. DUTCH
    DUTCH 18 July 2012 16: 13
    Yes, let’s launch Kuz'kin’s mother into space and let piss start pissing, xs who will fall on)))))))))))
  23. ZKBM-BUT
    ZKBM-BUT 18 July 2012 16: 51
    and what kind of engine is this? what is he for? to provide electricity? or to betray the movement? who knows what, tell me.
    1. Odious
      Odious 18 July 2012 18: 07
      Lesha here is a reference for you - very detailed and intelligible.
  24. suharev-52
    suharev-52 18 July 2012 20: 47
    I think that the term 2017 is named because it is necessary to finalize the old project using new materials and technologies. By the way, there are tests of a plasma engine for space. Yours faithfully
    1. El13
      El13 18 July 2012 22: 12
      I understand that plasma and ion are the same thing? Then the tests no longer go, but they fly already.
    2. postman
      postman 21 July 2012 14: 41
      2017 because the next presidential election ....
  25. nemec55
    nemec55 19 July 2012 12: 33
    Popovkin into the tongue of a mastiff like my neighbor Dusya