Phew: ORNL has doubled a key step in producing Pu-238 -- the fuel used in deep space missions -- and *octupled* overall annual yield. We're still not out of the woods, but we might yet avert the crisis and lift this constraint on deep space exploration.
@marsroverdriver Good news overall. I think the article could have been clearer on why domestic production stopped. With the shutdown of facilities to make "bomb" Plutonium, we lost a significant resource for Pu-238 and a lot of other good resources. Very frustrating that useful isotopes are in short supply, while we have tons of unused Pu-239 for bombs that were never built.
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