Space: A Flap over Reactors in Orbit

Activists want to ban nuclear power but the Pentagon favors it

Ever since a Soviet nuclear-powered satellite broke apart over a remote region of northern Canada in 1978, the use of atomic reactors in space has been highly controversial. Once again the debate over nukes in orbit has heated up. Last April the Soviets lost control of another nuclear satellite, raising fears that it would fall to earth before they managed to boost the reactor into a safer, high-altitude orbit. Then, at a scientific conference in New Mexico last month, the Soviets said they had begun putting a new generation of powerful reactors in space and were even interested in selling them...

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