Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today In History; First U.S. Atomic-Powered Lighthouse Begins Operating

1964: The first U.S. atomic-powered lighthouse was in Baltimore, Maryland. Located in Chesapeake Bay, the lighthouse was designed to provide a continuous flow of electricity, making it possible for it to operate for ten years without refueling. Built with a safe radioisotope, the nuclear generator stood 34.5 inches high and was only 22 inches in diameter. The nuclear division of Martin-Marietta Corporation built the 6-watt unit, which used lead telluride thermocouples to convert the heat into electricty.

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