Research and development has begun on a 100-kilowatt orbiting nuclear power plant that apparently would be the first of five to ten fission reactors expected to be launched into service "for military and civilian applications" by the year 2000. Some $13.6 million in funding for the nukes in space project was appropriated for fiscal year 1984, and a request for an additional $16 million for the undertaking was incorporated in the budget outlined for the Reagan administration's proposed "Star Wars" defense system.
There were 5,060 nuclear accidents at power plants in 1983, according to a study released by the Critical Mass Energy Project. Of the total, 247 were considered "particularly significant" by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
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