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Space Science

Nuclear 'Asteroids' Due In A Few Hundred Years 589

Posted by timothy
from the happy-birthday-to-you-happy-birthday-to-you dept.
easyCoder writes "In this space.com article, it mentions a RORSAT satellite that has been leaking radioactive coolant, leaving little droplets of it in orbit around our planet. However, further down, it also mentions this, quoted here for maximum impact: 'After a RORSATs tour-of-duty was over, the reactor's fuel core was shot high above Earth into a "disposal orbit." Once at that altitude the power supply unit would take several hundred years before it reentered the Earth's atmosphere.' Wow. So ... our great-grandchildren can expect a lovely day, partly cloudy with the occasional nuclear reactor plummeting down from outer space."
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Nuclear 'Asteroids' Due In A Few Hundred Years

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  • by monstroyer (748389) * <devnull@slashdot.org> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:09AM (#8711723) Homepage Journal
    Grand children? I'm celibate by popular demand you insensitive clod!

    • Re:Grand children? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Flingles (698457)
      This guy is going well, age wise if he can have great grand-children alive in several hundred years. I assume several hundred is at least 300, probably more. For 300- This means he must have a child in 75 years, who will have a grandchild in 75 years, who will then have the great granchild in 75 years, and now it is 225 years later, and this great grandchild will have to live 75 years just so he can get infected.

      Not that I'm pedantic or anything
  • by valhallaprime (749304) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:10AM (#8711727)
    By then Skynet will be in control, let it be the "Machines" problem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:12AM (#8711733)
    ...wildly positive articles that Linux is just about to break big and take over the desktop from Microsoft. ;)
  • by dew-genen-ny (617738) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:12AM (#8711734) Homepage
    ....in a couple of hundred years, I'd be most depressed if they can't deal with a small nuclear reactor falling back to earth.

    I mean we're meant to be progressing in our knowledge and abilities, no?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:15AM (#8711756)
      "I mean we're meant to be progressing in our knowledge and abilities, no?"

      The environmentalist, anti-nuke, anti-industry, anti-technology groups are going to do everything in their power to see that we don't.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:43AM (#8711895)
      yeah I am a bomb defusal expert with the government, and I want my kid (14 yr old) to follow in my footsteps.

      I plant a different bomb under his bed each night and before he goes to sleep he has to defuse it. He hasn't failed yet, but I would be dissapointed in the progress of his knowledge and abilities if he did.
    • by RallyNick (577728) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:49AM (#8711929)
      Not only that they're likely to be able to handle them without huge costs, but the most dangerous radioactive components will probably be gone by that time. So you'll have a bunch of somewhat harmless spent uranium burning in the atmosphare and spreading over a wide area.
    • I'd be more worried about us even remembering this will happen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:12AM (#8711735)
    The Soviets have lost one or two before that have burned up, and no I'm not just talking RTG's. And since I only have 3 heads, not 5 and none of them is green, I'm not particularly worried.
  • by dacarr (562277) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:13AM (#8711736) Homepage Journal
    Kid: How long do we have?

    Professor: About... 300 years.

    Kid: ...so we have a little time.

    • by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @03:50AM (#8712125) Journal
      no no no... it's like this [wikipedia.org]:

      Kid: How long do we have?
      Professor: You have no chance to survive make your time.
      Kid: What you say!!
      Professor: You are on the way to destruction.
      Professor: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....
      Kid: Take off every 'Zig'!!
      Kid: You know what you doing.
      Kid: Move 'Zig'.
      Kid: For great justice.

      See? The future's fine, we have Zig.

  • Thundarr (Score:5, Funny)

    by davejenkins (99111) <.slashdot. .at. .davejenkins.com.> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:13AM (#8711738) Homepage
    By then, Nuclear war will have happened, and humans will be back to the stone age, or at least some quasi-magick age like in Thundarr The Barbarian. When this thing lands, an evil wizard will use its powers to "make lightning" come out of a stick or something.

    That will be cool.
  • They are nuclear (Score:5, Informative)

    by SEWilco (27983) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:13AM (#8711740) Journal
    Probably most asteroids have some radioactive material in them. The metallic asteroids have more metals than we have available on Earth, including fissionables.

    Not that it matters much what an asteroid is made of when it's landing on you.

  • I doubt it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skynet (37427) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:13AM (#8711741) Homepage
    I would hope in a few hundred years we have the technical expertise to do an "orbital cleanup" job and get rid of all the crap floatind around the Earth.

    Maybe zap them with laser beams!
  • WHEW! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zedmelon (583487) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:13AM (#8711744) Homepage Journal
    ""The concentration was so high that, whatever the source, it represented the most significant impact hazard for spacecraft operating at those altitudes... and still does today," Kessler said."

    Boy, I'm sure glad I gave up that career in space flight and instead opted for becoming a laid-off IT guy. And my guidance counselor said I couldn't make a good decision...

  • Hopefully (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:13AM (#8711745)
    In a couple hundred years, they'll be able to clean it up before it causes problems. If not, then humanity probably isn't progressing much, and it won't be that great of a loss.
  • by goon america (536413) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:13AM (#8711746) Homepage Journal
    Asteroids != meteors. This is about them entering the Earth's atmosphere eventually, right? So, shouldn't we be expecting nuclear 'meteors'?
  • by RollingThunder (88952) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:15AM (#8711754)
    How much material are we talking? Will this be a major event to the earth, or will the upper atmosphere just shrug and eat it up?

    It's a pretty freaking big planet. If we're talking about 5kg of fissionables, that seems pretty small to me compared to the daily dosage the planet gets from the sun - although I do understand there's one hell of a difference between solar radiation and vaporous uranium - the latter's toxic as well as radioactive, iirc.
    • that seems pretty small to me compared to the daily dosage the planet gets from the sun - although I do understand there's one hell of a difference between solar radiation and vaporous uranium - the latter's toxic as well as radioactive, iirc.

      However.. the earths magnetic field, stratosphere and all of that other junk up there in the sky protects us from most of the most harmful damage of the sun, whereas 5KG of fissionables wouldnt be Dilluted by the earth's atmosphere!
    • by bm_luethke (253362) <luethkeb.comcast@net> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:46AM (#8711911)
      There is also a difference between having the suns radiation hit your skin and breathing radioactive material that bond to the calcium in your bones delivering a 24/7 does of radiation to a single spot.

      You can stand on a floor of strontium 90 every day and not really be affected (well, I think there are parts of your skin thin enough that the radiation will cause problems), breath a few particles of it and some Bad Things will happen.

      I think the stuff talked about here make strontium 90 look good. Some of that stuff takes VERY little though yellow and magenta chains grant immunity to radiation (Ok, inside joke, govt labs use yellow and magenta plastic chains to rope off radioactive areas with no other explaination leaving you wondering what the actual contamination is from. Nothing like a 2 foot square hole in the hall in front of your office with one of those chains around the very edge of the hole).
    • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:04AM (#8712166) Homepage Journal
      31 kg of 90% U235.

      Reference: http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/russia/military/sigin t/rorsat.htm
    • by hweimer (709734) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:26AM (#8712220) Homepage
      How much material are we talking?

      According to "Der rote Orbit" by Harro Zimmer, a book on the Soviet space program based on data released in the 1990s: There is about 940 kg of highly enriched uranium and more than 15 tons of radioactive material. The sattelites will stay about 600 years in orbit before coming down. Argon-39, mentioned in the article, will still be around then.

      One exception is Kosmos 1900. On this RORSAT mission the core ejection was done later than usual due to a technical problem. Since the orbit was already very low then, the core was shot to an altitude of about 750 km, where it will only last about 100 years.

      Will this be a major event to the earth, or will the upper atmosphere just shrug and eat it up?

      This is unclear. There were two incidents in the RORSAT history where the reactor core re-entered Earth's atmosphere. Kosmos 1402 did not leave a radioactive trace while the infamous Kosmos 954 spacecraft certainly did [free-online.co.uk].
    • by Ronny Cook (725228) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:36AM (#8712240)
      The article says 165kg (360 pounds) of NaK, which decays into radioactive forms of Sodium and Argon. They seem most worried about the argon, with a half-life of 270 years.

      However, argon is a noble gas that does not combine chemically with anything, so long-term exposure from absorption into the human body is not exactly a big issue. It also forms a small but detectable proportion (about 1%) of the Earth's atmosphere, so it will be diluted by a factor of billions or trillions to one.

      Sodium of course is highly reactive. I assume that it's the K (potassium?) that decays into the sodium as Na = sodium already... nuclear science is not my strong suit unfortunately. Upon hitting the high atmosphere, sodium will combine rapidly, probably with hydrogen (NaH) or Oxygen (NaO2/Na2O/Na2O2) none of which are used by the human body... may be a problem if it recombines, but again we're talking minute quantities relatively speaking.

      The coolant is all in the form of liquid droplets which will be showering down over the earth over a period of hundreds of years. To be honest I can't see what the big deal is here. Yes, there's radiation showering down, but these are *droplets*, they're not going to smack you in the eye - they will break up probably before they hit the stratosphere, let alone the troposphere.

      The net effect will be an increase in background radiation levels too small to measure.

      The original article focuses on the hazards of the droplets as space junk... which to me seems sensible. As an earthbound radiation source these don't figure. As space junk they present not only a collision hazard but a radioactive one.

  • Whine, whine. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by momerath2003 (606823) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:15AM (#8711760) Journal
    A little radiation won't kill anyone. Sheesh. The amount of radiation released by the NaK coolant drops (especially after being vaporized on hitting the atmosphere) will be negligible.

    Once again, the media makes a big deal out of a little thing.

    (Note that this doesn't excuse the Soviets' lack of foresight on the reactor. Then again, they did manage Chernobyl...)
    • Re:Whine, whine. (Score:5, Informative)

      by pantherace (165052) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @03:14AM (#8712009)
      There is a danger, but it isn't from the radiation. It's from the drops hitting space craft.

      Going at a large velocity a 3inch diameter sphere of coolant will do some damage (possibly quite serious), and that's what has people worried. It certainly has the potential to change the orbit of one of the smaller satellites.

  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:20AM (#8711783) Journal
    The article isn't worried about the radiation from the drops of coolent, they are worried that, as the collent falls back to earth, it could impact other sats causing a cascade that would destroy a large chunk of the sats currently around earth. And in the process render space a much more dangerous place due to the extra space junk that would be released.
  • Space Spam (Score:4, Informative)

    by amigoro (761348) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:26AM (#8711806) Homepage Journal
    If you see that spam is taking over cyberspace too quickly, you should look again, and look up. The immediate 'space' around earth is full of little bits and pieces of objects we have sent up there. There are more than 2,000 decommissioned satellites.

    And just as junk emails cause a threat to network connectivity, space junk can potentially damage future space missions. NASA constantly keeps its eye on the movements of these bits of space trash.

    space.com [space.com] has a comprehensive list of space junk items, and who put them there.

    Moderate this comment
    Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
    Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

  • by core plexus (599119) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:30AM (#8711824) Homepage
    In my thinking, this statement from the article suggests a very serious problem: ""We are on the threshold, if we have not already exceeded it, of reaching a 'critical density' of objects in low Earth orbit, where collisional fragmentation will cause the debris environment to slowly grow even if all other sources are eliminated.""

    All our plans for regular space travel, not to mention all kinds of other space uses, will be in jeopardy. Paint chips, bolts, pieces of wire, etc. We need some really smart people thinking about a solution to this.

    Alaska Village invited to test cheap, clean nuclear power [alaska-freegold.com]

    • Paint chips?

      All currently orbiting, or indeed travelling on interplanetary/interstellar (see: Voyager N) vehicles are shieled against naturally occuring micrometeors. An extra piece of junk thrown out by man is nothing compared to what is already out there --especially as concerns radiation. We could detonate every single nuclear weapon on the planet in relatively low orbit and barely register a blip compared to the naturally occuring radiation.

      Seriously, the dinosaurs weren't wiped out by Sputnik. Yeah,
  • Two conclusions: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gad_zuki! (70830) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:33AM (#8711840)
    Our grandchildren will be living in a new stone age after WWIII and this won't really matter or they will have the tech to take care of this long before it becomes a threat.

    The above blatantly stolen from Einstein
    "I don't know how the third world war will be fought," Albert Einstein once remarked, "but I do know that the fourth one will be fought with sticks and stones."
  • by Mulletproof (513805) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:33AM (#8711844) Homepage Journal
    "Once at that altitude the power supply unit would take several hundred years before it reentered the Earth's atmosphere.' Wow. So ... our great-grandchildren can expect a lovely day, partly cloudy with the occasional nuclear reactor plummeting down from outer space.

    Well here's a clue for the terminally short-sighted: Do you think maybe- just maybe -we'll have a better way to deal with it in several hundred years??? I mean for cryin' out loud, the damn things safe in parking orbit. It's not going anywhere for the next few centuries! Could the submitter be anymore of an alarmist if he tried? Heads up, Chicken Little, the sky is falling!

    Sigh.
  • by Channard (693317) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:34AM (#8711849) Journal
    .. from our children, and their children, and their children's children.. And this little legacy is just to teach them not to put their parents in crappy nursing homes in future.
  • by imsabbel (611519) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:40AM (#8711879)
    I dont know that exact satelite, but most of those "reactors" are in fact thermoelectic, powered by decay death.
    Those things use isotopes with a half life in a low 2 digit year range, because they NEED a HIGH decay rate to create heat. So in a few hundered years there wont be too much left to make our great - great children 3 eyed...
    • Operating a radar took a lot of power, more than you could get from solar panels or an RTG.
    • by DasBub (139460) <dasbub@[ ]bub.com ['das' in gap]> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:29AM (#8712224) Homepage
      For those satellites they used fully operational reactors, not just RTGs. A big bone of contention was that a lot of them were launched with an ACTIVE reactor. Prudence dictates that you should launch with a non-critical reactor, since an explosion during launch phase would have some bad effects. But early flight-rated reactors didn't have the capability to be launched cold and made critical in orbit - the precise adjustments just couldn't be handled remotely.

      Really, though, their plan wasn't all that bad. When the satellite was taken offline, the reactor package would be boosted to a high orbit. In the 60's they would never have guessed that their space program (or the americans') would be so emaciated in the decades to come. They would certainly have expected some sort of orbital tug to be available in the 80s-90s.

      And let's not forget how much worse things could have been... The Soviets very seriously considered leaving nuclear warheads permanently in orbit, rather than launching them all from the ground. When the time came, the orbiting warheads would be directed to re-enter en masse, which would severely reduce the available reaction time for the west. These systems were actually tested. A number of Kosmos satellites were dummy warheads that were launched, left in orbit for a time, and then directed to re-enter at a target zone. Imagine if a constellation of THESE had been left to decay over the past 4 decades.
  • Insignificant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Detritus (11846) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:59AM (#8711966) Homepage
    Even if all of the Soviet reactors reentered the atmosphere tomorrow, it would be insignificant compared to the many tons of radioactive material that was released into the atmosphere by above-ground testing of nuclear weapons.
  • by Phil Karn (14620) <karn&ka9q,net> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @03:15AM (#8712012) Homepage
    The article correctly emphasizes the hazard (from collisions) to orbiting spacecraft, and (correctly) says very little about the radiation hazard to us on the ground.

    In no way will I excuse the extreme sloppiness of the Russians in all things nuclear, but the radiation hazard from these things has been greatly exaggerated to sell newspapers, books and TV spots. Several of these orbiting Soviet reactors failed to go into their disposal orbits and have already fallen back to earth -- and we're still here. Yes, you could say we were lucky that they fell in relatively remote areas. But most of the earth's surface is still sparsely populated (such as the 70% that's covered by water).

    Another thing to remember about spent reactor fuel is that its radioactivity falls rapidly with time. While a reactor operates, a significant fraction of the generated power comes from the decay of short-lived fission products. This radioactive decay heat continues even after the chain reaction has been shut down; that's why emergency core cooling is so important in terrestrial reactors. Depending on the reactor design and the fuel, a few hundred years may be enough for its radioactivity to decay to that of the uranium ore from which it was originally made. This point is often lost in the shrill criticism of permanent high-level waste disposal sites.

    I do have one question about the physical properties of the NaK coolant: what is its vapor pressure? This particular alloy was chosen partly because it's a liquid at or just above room temperature, so it must have some vapor pressure that would cause it to slowly sublime in the vacuum of space. That sublimation would occur much more quickly for small droplets than large. Anybody have numbers?

  • by i1984 (530580) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @03:21AM (#8712036)
    The linked article notes that "16 of a total of 31 RORSAT nuclear reactors orbited lost coolant following core ejection into disposal orbits."

    The biggest short term problem seems to be the loss of NaK coolant, with the number of these drops "estimated to be 110,000 to over 115,000." Wih the possibility for more of them to leak if other space junk punctures the radiators of the satellites. In the most immediate future these droplets are mostly just navigation hazards, but the amount of radiation that might remain in them is unknown, and it's not known if they're further contaminated. I'm guessing the radioactive argon in the droplets, of which there is a presently unknown quantity, is a relatively small hazard...but please correct me if this suspicion is wrong.

    I'm not sure how radioactive the reactors themselves might be; the article didn't give much information on this side of the problem. If anyone is familiar with Soviet spaceborne reactor design, please speak up! My strong suspicion is, however, that even in the likelihood they are thermoelectric reactors with short-lived isotopes, there would still be enough residual radiation to make them unpleasant devices to have land on you patio. And since there are so many of them, it seems a little too optimistic that they'll all land in the ocean.

    Finally, I found it interesting that the article notes "we are on the threshold, if we have not already exceeded it, of reaching a critical density' of objects in low Earth orbit, where collisional fragmentation will cause the debris environment to slowly grow even if all other sources are eliminated." How will we respond if low Earth orbit becomes too dangerous for reliable operation of satellites or manned spaceflight? How dangerous is it right now, or does anyone know how many satellites are believed to have been lost due to space collisions?
    • by DasBub (139460) <dasbub@[ ]bub.com ['das' in gap]> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @06:55AM (#8712585) Homepage
      I'm not sure how radioactive the reactors themselves might be; the article didn't give much information on this side of the problem. If anyone is familiar with Soviet spaceborne reactor design, please speak up! My strong suspicion is, however, that even in the likelihood they are thermoelectric reactors with short-lived isotopes, there would still be enough residual radiation to make them unpleasant devices to have land on you patio."


      As I mentioned a few posts above this one, they are not RTGs. They are honest-to-goodness reactors, with all the nasty daughter-products we've grown to love. It's just like a reactor on the ground: you go in pure, you come out perverted. The daughter products are much more of a worry than the remaining pure fuel. You can expect uranium and plutonium to stay in a certain state; preferably in large solid pieces. But the decay products will have much different chemical and structural makeup, more likely to pulverize or turn gaseous within our atmosphere.

      At least with an RTG you can be assured that it'll come back in one piece 99.9% of the time. It's small, completely solid, no moving parts. They rely solely on passive cooling. But a reactor produces so much heat that it must use an active heat transfer system, meaning larger size and moving parts (pumps, compressors, lots and lots of thin heat-conducting pipes). Here we're dealing with a design that is inherently more breakable and failure-prone. It's kinda like the old saying "Why don't they just make the planes like they make the Black Box?" The RTG is small and compact, very very hard to break. The reactor's weakness is its size. You can only armour it so much before it becomes prohibitively heavy.

      Today's Lesson: if you have to drop either an RTG or a reactor back to the earth's surface, CHOOSE THE RTG.
  • sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by prockcore (543967) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @03:33AM (#8712073)
    a RORSAT satellite that has been leaking radioactive coolant, leaving little droplets of it in orbit around our planent.

    It's not an accident, it's our interplanetary nuclear defense system.
  • by edxwelch (600979) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:04AM (#8712168)
    There have been dozens of nuclear powered satellites launched by both USSR and USA. When the satellite reaches its end of life, the core is ejected into a higher orbit. The result of all this is there are several tonnes of nuclear waste and a few hunderd pounds of enriched uranium orbiting the Earth. You can read more about it here Nuclear Powered Space Missions [free-online.co.uk]
  • by TildaBang (670599) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:32AM (#8712229)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_accid ents [wikipedia.org]

    These types of 'accidents' happen all of the time.
  • by kir (583) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @05:06AM (#8712306) Homepage
    OK slashdoters... I challenge you to somehow link this story to President Bush. Bonus points for making it his fault.
  • Radioactive core (Score:3, Informative)

    by KDN (3283) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @07:16AM (#8712637)
    I wish they said how many hundred years. While I am not familar with the RORSAT reactors, the waste from commericial nuclear reactors is as dangerous as the ore it came from in between 600 and 1200 years, depending on how you measure toxicity.
  • by the_yellow_dart (656661) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:25AM (#8712952)
    A man from Lockheed, whose nuclear space program is located in King of Prussia, PA, just gave a talk on this at Penn State to the Nuclear Engineering students. To clarify what is actually up there, there is 1 US RTG core, and about 35 Russian RTG cores (that we know of). RTG is a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, they provide power for a very long time many times outlasting the life of the satellite. The reason we use these and not just solar panels has to do with harsh environments, and solar energy exponentially decays the further from the sun you get, once you get past Mars it is effectively zero. All the cores total about 1 Metric ton of highly enriched Uranium 235. The reason they are there is a simple one, when a malfunction happened on board a satellite the nuclear core was detached and shot off into a higher orbit. (on one occasion the satellite's guidance system was out and it actually sent the core crashing towards Earth. It landed somewhere in the jungle of South America, but the Soviets never found it, and refused our help.) So those cores are sitting up there in a high orbit and will come crashing down in about 600 years. As far as burning up in the atmosphere, well that was the methodology that NASA used to work with (now they are working with the idea that they should make the core indestructible and just retrieve it), however I am not sure and the man from Lockheed didn't give the impression it was. Personally I believe that's what we hope, but we just are not sure. Also, remember that we only have 1 core up there, the Soviets have 35 (at least) so who knows what to say about their cores.
  • by Urban Garlic (447282) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:29AM (#8713494)
    We can get some idea what the re-entry will be like from history -- in January of 1978, a Soviet spy satellite with a nuclear reactor on board (not an RTG, an actively-cooled fission core) re-entered out of control and landed in the Canadian arctic. My recollection is that in this case, the reactor core failed to eject, and remained partially protected within the satellite, meaning that the core was still relatively compact when it hit the ground. In this respect, the event was unlike an atmospheric bomb test, and hopefully, also unlike the re-entry of a properly-ejected reactor core.

    There were no direct casualties from the crash, but only a small fraction of the power supply was recovered. One website I found says the Canadian government billed the Soviets for $6 million (Canadian, 1978) dollars.

    Google on Cosmos 954 [google.com] for more.
  • by haggar (72771) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:30AM (#8713502) Homepage Journal
    You may think this is a big deal, but just think about the Russian nuclear submarines that have been disposed in the oceans, during the last 30 years.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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