Possible Ecological Consequences of a Fall of a Nuclear-Powered Satellite (Yuri V. Petrov and Alexander I. Shlyakhter)

Yu. V. Petrov and Alexander I. Shlyakhter

Proceedings of PNPI Winter School XXV and XXVI, St. Petersburg, 1992


Estimates of long-term radiological consequences of an accident involving a nuclear-powered satellite (SP-100 and others being developed in the USA for the SDI program, as well as Soviet satellites with Topaz-type reactors) are made. Collective doses for the population from 90Sr and 137Cs under the most unfavorable conditions are estimated. The calculations show that the collective doses from an accident of a space-based nuclear military satellite are comparable to the doses at Chernobyl. It is proposed to stop deployment of nuclear-powered satellites in near-earth orbits.

Keywords: space reactor arms control, nuclear accidents, nuclear-powered satellites

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Related work: Space Reactor Arms Control

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