idaho national labs


Nuclear-Powered Jet Airplane Engines (1957-1961)               


In front of the technician with a Geiger counter stands a vertical nuclear reactor made into a jet airplane engine. Behind it is a second, horizontal reactor engine. Nuclear-powered jet airplanes were intended to carry nuclear bombs and fly a pattern around the Soviet Union. The program was rendered obsolete by long-range missile technology. These are the only two nuclear jet airplane engines in existence. The two nuclear-powered jet engines were transported by rail to the distant stack, hooked up, and test-fired. The stack channeled the engines’ exhaust, Heat, and radiation away form the ground into the air. Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho. November 9, 1984.