Re: Nuclear heater for Expeditions

Dan Clemmensen (
Mon, 05 Jan 1998 22:21:22 -0500

Arjen Kamphuis wrote:
> Non-isolated nylon tents do little more than keeping wind and percipitation
> out. The difference between the out- and inside airtemperature is only a
> few degrees without special action. I've tried with several methods that
> vary in effectiveness (tips welcome):
I suspect that the weight of even a tiney "mister fusion" will be more
than the weight of a reasonable amount of insulation.

> - lite the burner.
> Not very good, costs a lot of fuel and generates nasty gas-
> byproducts inside the tent, also the H2O condensates and forms
> ice on the inside of the tent-shell during the night.
I've heard that traditional Korean houses are heated by a wood-burning
stove under the house whose chimney is a meandering ceramic pipe buried
in the floor. A high-tech version of this might let you put the burner
outside the tent while still getting nearly all the heat into the tent.

> - Forget about the tent.
> And buy the thickest goose-down sleepingbag you can find (mummie).
> 1400 gramms of down and a pertex/nylon outershell should keep you
> happy 'till about 40 degrees below zero.

As I recall, the problem is to keep the heat in while letting the
moisture out. There are many super-lighe and cheap insulators, but
most also trap moisture. What about using a super lighe insulator
such as bubble-wrap in conjunction with a counter-flow heat exchanger
to let the moisture out?

> Even better would be a fusion-pile that uses snow/water/air as a
> hydrogensource,
You don't need an ambient source. you can seal in enough fuel when you
manufacure the thing to meet any reasonable energy demand.

> this could also be used to generate electricity to charge
> the battery's of my cell-phone (works very well now in the Alps) and GPS.

Why carry heavy batteries? just run wires to your "mister fusion".
> Would it be (at least theoretically) possible to contain the radiation of a
> fusion-reaction inside an object the size of a 2-liter bottle? What kind of
> material would that take?

I can think of four three approaches, but they all pretty much require
One approach starts with small amount of hydrogen held at an extremely
static pressure and then imploded using lasers or sound waves. The
is developed at the center of a set of concentric diamondoid shells,
each of which
can likely deliver a megabar of relative pressure differential. The
pressure that can be applied this way depends on the pressure at which
diamondoid loses its tensile strength.
The other approaches are reduced versions of magnetic-confinement,
inertial confinement, and beam fusion, all of which may be feasible
using nanotech.