GE-ANP Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Project, NEPA, POPSEE,  Unofficial Archives
Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program, NEPA and GE-ANP for Atomic Flight, Unofficial Archives

 All documents on this web site have been officially released, in writing,
to the public domain by both GE Legal and the Department of Energy.
There are
NO Classified Documents on this web site.


Hello and Welcome. Curious about the nuclear jet engine and nuclear powered aircraft? In the 1950s two nuclear development programs were underway, the airframe for a nuclear powered engine and secondly, the engine, better know as the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program, ANP. The airframe research and development program was done by the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Company (Convair). The propulsion program was researched by both Pratt & Whitney and the General Electric Company as described below.

The Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program researched two methods for nuclear powered jet engines, the Direct Air Cycle and the Indirect Air Cycle. The Indirect Air Cycle was attempted by Pratt & Whitney and the Direct Air Cycle program was developed by General Electric located in Evendale, Ohio. The Direct Air Cycle program was popular because it was simple, reliable and doable, while the indirect cycle program was not able to solve the excessive weight issues.

The direct cycle engines were able to start quickly and worked by passing compressed air, in a closed loop configuration, through the reactor where it could be heated before moving into the turbine and returning to the reactor. The GE X-39 engine was produced by this program and it proved to be highly successful with several upgrades made to the system at later stages of the program.

The overall program cost $24 billion ($216 billion in 2013 dollars) and the engine development program cost $2 Billion ($18 Billion in 2013 dollars). In addition, the program produced a long list of significant contributions to the nuclear field including reactor size reduction, shielding improvements, new alloys and new metallurgical understandings, fuel element improvements, improved reactor theory calculations, synthetic oils, shielding for electronics and greatly improved safety understandings.

Archives for this project are enormous and scattered among various classified and unclassified documents within government agencies and within contractors involved with this program. This web site is a depository for a small collection of those unclassified program documents, public articles and information that describes this $ 2 Billion ANP program, and as a tribute to the 13,000 Americans employed by the program.

As a footnote, the restoration for the transport version of the B-36 (XC-99) is not going all that well. It has been taken of the list of active restorations on the Air Force Museum website. Here's a link with the latest "news".

Also see:

Mound Science & Energy Museum

1075 Mound Road, Miamisburg, OH 45342
(937) 353-4457

The Mound Science and Energy Museum collects, preserves and makes publicly accessible the remaining heritage of the Mound Laboratory, its workers and its site.

Open Hours to Public , Tuesdays: 12:00 PM 3:00 PM
Saturdays: 9:00 AM 12:00 PM, Other times, by appointment

Those Magnificent Men and their Atomic Machines Blog

A fascinating Blog by Mark detailing our extensive history using nuclear power.

GE, General Electric Company
ANP, Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion
NEPA,  Nuclear Energy for Propulsion of Aircraft
                ANPO      Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Office
                NMPO     Nuclear Materials & Propulsion Operation
                SPPS      Space Power Propulsion Systems
                NSP        Nuclear Systems Enhanced Performance
                ESP        Energy Systems Program
                AEP        Advanced Energy Program

NRTS  National Reactor Test Site
Replaced by INEL, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory 
Replaced by INEEL,  Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory
Replaced by INL, Idaho National Laboratory

Declassified archives provided by former ANP employee, George Pomeroy and the web site by historian, Lee Hite, Cincinnati, Ohio  ̶  em@il