Press delete: Sandia's idea for nuclear-powered UAV not practical
- By Defense Systems Staff
- Mar 26, 2012
A research project by Sandia National Laboratories to create a nuclear-powered unmanned aerial vehicle that could stay aloft for days without refueling was eventually cast aside because "political realities" would not allow its development, reports Gizmodo.
It took some sleuth work by the Federation of American Scientists to acquire a document related to the study and to interpret it. While the word "nuclear" was never used in the report, the authors used words such as "decommissioning and disposal" that would indicate nuclear materials were involved, the story states.
What was at risk? Basically, the crash of a nuclear-powered UAV would create a large contaminated zone and result in a major diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and nation in which it went down, the story states.