SHARING IDEAS THAT DO GOOD

Nuclear Power for the Moon

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Australian manufacturers could be part of a global supply chain for building nuclear power on the moon. NASA is seeking proposals to place small modular reactors on the moon to help facilitate research and further space exploration.


See https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/11/15/why-nasa-wants-to-put-a-nuclear-power-plant-on-the-moon.html

And the Australian Nuclear Capabilities Forum https://www.aumanufacturing.com.au/being-proactive-on-smr-possibility


What do you think?

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Comments
CharlieY @ 2021.07.11 4:26 PM

Not at all clear in my head why we should ship complex machinery to the moon to provide power when there are likely to be two available energy conversion options in situ - solar and geothermal. The Moon has an average annual solar incidence of 1363W/m2 compared to 1367W/m2 on Earth. The Moon also has no clouds.

The upper few cm of the Moon's regolith has poor thermal conductivity, so it's long term storage capacity is low, but there is a significant temp differential between the surface and 50cm below the surface.

Solar panels have been used and evolved for space applications for decades and are hardened for operational lives of circa 15 years in the hostile, near-earth environment where the interaction of the magnetosphere, charged particles and chemicals make for an enduring environment. These products - at a baseline - are probably compatible with the contextual situation on the Moon's surface. Plus, there are a lot of old satellites in orbit from which longer-term resource harvesting of panels and compounds may prove to be viable - thus reducing further the need for supplying resources from Earth.

I'm no scientist yet I do not understand the need for complex equipment such as nuclear generators in a distant location such as the Moon. It's creating a waste issue that could be avoided and makes me wonder how would one repair the equipment when it failed? Global database of direct solar radiation at the Moon’s surface for lunar engineering purpo



Lynn Wood @ 2021.07.11 4:56 PM
Good points CharlieY! Just noticed that the first link in the post is no longer working so replaced it with a link to an article that appears to have answers to your points towards the end.


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