The Common Good

Nuclear-Powered Drones

As if conventionally powered drones weren’t bad enough, a report has it that scientists are developing nuclear-powered drones that could stay in the air for months without refueling. In addition to the fact that this would make drones  more efficient killing machines, it also increases the dangers from crashes. Drones are especially prone to crashing, and with a nuclear reactor, a crash would be “in effect turning the drone into a so-called dirty bomb.”

The project has apparently been put on hold, with a research summary concluding that "none of the results will be used in the near-term or mid-term future," due to political constraints. But with the increasing reliance on drones by the military, I suspect it won’t be long before it’s resumed.