Some of you may know of the (unbuilt) Nazi Panzer concept, the P-1000 “Ratte,” a 1000+ ton, 35 meter-long, 50-odd crew juggernaut. As designed, it would have used U-boat engines (as few as 2, to as many as 8, depending on type) to generate the 16000+ horsepower needed to get the beast moving.
Okay, here’s my angle on it…would it be possible, starting today, with no limits on cost, to build the Ratte with a nuclear reactor for an engine? My calculations, such as they are, are telling me that 16000 horsepower is equivilant to about 12 megawatts of energy, if I’m not bungling or fundamentally misunderstanding it. (Which isn’t unlikely.)
The only requirments I’d have are that the reactor shielding not be so lax that it would kill the crew. (Full shielding would be welcome, but not required.)
So, I ask you…would it be possible to build a nuclear Panzer? Or are any reactors powerful enough to drive it either too big, or too heavy, to install in the existing chassis?