Within the history of the automobile, there is a capitudo of which few know. Back in 1957, Ford came up with the idea of building a car concept beyond the understanding of then and today. It was a car that would put internal combustion engines aside and replace it with a small nuclear reactor.
Yes, as you read it, this model called Nucleon was shown as a ladder model, which loaded the small nuclear reactor in the back of the car. This was intended to use a uranium fission-powered steam engine similar to those found in nuclear submarines.
The reduced-size reactor was to be completely removable at the rear of the car so that it could be replaced once the fuel had been used.
The vehicle resembled a small truck, with passengers sitting in front of the nuclear reactor to allow adequate protection.
The nuclear reactor would heat water to produce steam that would turn a turbine, which in turn would produce electricity to drive the converters that would drive the wheels.
Engineers from the US firm estimated that the Nucleon could travel more than 8 thousand km before it had to refuel. Sounds good right?
However, there were a number of problems with this revolutionary idea such as that the reactor armor was very heavy and large, and the size and material needed to keep the passengers and the driver safe from radioactivity made the car not practical.
There was also the annoying problem of replacing spent fuel, and the service stations to be used would have to be built to very complex specifications and of course also had to be staffed by people capable of handling radioactive material.
There was also the problem of the cars getting into an accident and causing a mini meltdown on the road.
All these problems led Ford to decline to bring this design to a full size.
The model that is currently being built is in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.