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... there is a lower limit imposed by the requirement for a critical mass.
About grapefruit sized is right for a fissionable mass. You'd need to add moderator and heat exchanger gubbins as well though, to make it usable.
Many years ago nuclear power could be carried in a backpack.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suitcase_bomb : says"The smallest nuclear warhead ever acknowledged to have been manufactured by the USA was the W54, which was used in both the Davy Crockett 120 mm recoilless riflelaunched warhead, and the backpack-carried version called the Mk-54 SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition). The bare warhead package took the form of an 11"x16" cylinder that weighed only 51 lbs (23 kg). It was, however, easily small enough to fit in a footlocker-sized container."In the '50's Ford conceived an atomic powered car. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_NucleonHad we not "outlawed" atomic power for so many years most 18 wheelers , locomotives , ships, and even cars would be nuclear powered today.Designs incorporating closed cycle gas turbines like discussed here :http://www.atomicengines.com/engines.htmlwould make factory made nuclear energy devices common.
I'm wondering just how small a nuclear reactor can be? Is it possible that in the future we could power our laptops and other mobile devices with our own mini nuclear reactors? Maybe also our homes and cars?Roy P