Like a nuclear-powered moth to the flame

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When someone starts making unmistakable references to “safeguards,” “decommissioning and disposal,” and those unfavorable “political conditions,” there is little doubt about the topic under discussion.

The scientists at Northrop Grumman and Sandia National Laboratories now have my vote for the “Lack-of-Foresight” award, after revealing blueprints for a new generation of nuclear-powered drones.

The objective could have been achieved by means of the unidentified technology, which “would have provided system performance unparalleled by other existing technologies,” the project summary said.

Sandia Labs has confirmed that the project is no longer active, mainly due to conflicting public opinion.  The National Laboratory made a statement to The Guardian Newspaper stating, “The research on this topic was highly theoretical and very conceptual. The work only resulted in a preliminary feasibility study and no hardware was ever built or tested. The project has ended.”

Of course, one doesn’t call a nuclear drone a nuclear drone, instead the research project team and Dr. Steven Dron, the lead investigator, chose to refer to it as “propulsion and power technologies that went well beyond existing hydrocarbon technologies”.

And of course, it wasn’t the unfeasibility or the public sentiment that shut the project down, rather the summary stated that “none of the results will be used in the near-term or mid-term future”, due to political constraints.

The report mournfully adds, “It was disappointing to all that the political realities would not allow use of the results.”.

Those bad politicians are to blame, again.

Not only will the technology be undeveloped, it will be completely covered up, as “none of the results can be shared openly with the public due to national security constraints.”

This idea doesn’t even pass my laugh test, it’s just as likely the project will have moved to a secure location to complete its design and production possibilities.

It still isn’t feasible, and is an outlandish idea from the get, here are some reasons why;

In 2011, Iran paraded an intact RQ-170 drone, which frustrated US officials, who were not willing to immediately confirm whether the aircraft was in fact the highly sensitive RQ-170 Sentinel.

The RQ-170, also called  the Beast of Kandahar, is one of America’s most advanced unarmed surveillance drones — so sensitive that the Air Force did not even acknowledge its existence until late 2009. It was reportedly used to keep tabs on the man believed to be Osama bin Laden during the Navy SEAL mission that took out the terror leader in Pakistan in May.

The Iranian military had claimed it was able to bring down the drone with little damage through a cyber attack as it was flying through Iranian airspace.

If Iran is able to get their hands on one of the governments most sensitive drones, how much harder would they work to get their hands on the upgraded nuclear package?

Now, it’s true that’s not the only threat, the US of course would not come out and admit that someone had hacked their drones, which leads us to another scenario in which case a nuclear drone would be an unnecessary hazard.

U.S. officials told ABC News that the drone had been on a secret surveillance mission for the Central Intelligence Agency when its operators lost control.

After the US imposed more tough sanctions on Iran, they decided to return the RQ-170 drone with a little bit of work done to it.

What’s more, anyone can go out and buy one, for only $4 USD, it’s pink, it’s about one eightieth the original size and being marketed as a toy in Iran.

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