From Wikipedia

a fission fragment reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates electricity by decelerating an ion beam of fission byproducts instead of using nuclear reactions to generate heat. By doing so, it bypasses the Carnot cycle and can achieve efficiencies of up to 90% instead of 40-45% attainable by efficient turbine-driven thermal reactors. The fission fragment ion beam would be passed through a magnetohydrodynamic generator to produce electricity.

From the above we can see a couple of major advantages, namely simplicity and very high efficiency. So why has no such reactor been developed?

  • $\begingroup$ Is this on the "Science Fiction" section? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 21, 2021 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike it certainly strikes me as more practical than nuclear fusion, which we are already doing. $\endgroup$ Nov 21, 2021 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ Nuclear power of any kind is politically incorrect regardless of practical considerations. $\endgroup$ Nov 21, 2021 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ @blacksmith37, watch for changes in that attitude as global warming gets worse. It's already begun... $\endgroup$ Nov 21, 2021 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ Where are you getting these fission byproducts if not from a reasonably 'hot' fissile source in the first place? $\endgroup$ Nov 22, 2021 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Several Reasons, but the biggest is that this technology isn't available yet.

Neither the fission beam tech is ready for commercialization, nor is the magnetohydrodynamic generator. The simplest answer to most questions about "why is this technology not used" is that it isn't commercially feasible.


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