For us today the idea of an Atomic Powered Airplane may seem ludicrous. We should remember the context the dream was born in. In the early part of the Cold War the arms race seemed never ending. To the scientists and generals, whose job it was to defend America, the future was a terrifying landscape of ever escalating threats. From the end of WW2 till the mid 1960s the most reliable delivery system for nuclear weapons remained the Big Bomber.
Atomic power seemed a limitless miracle. People were talking about atomic powered cars and even vacuume cleaners!
An atomic powered airplane was a dream that was enevitable. Be thankful that JFK and his Defense Sec. Robert McNamara finally shut the program down after a decade and billions of dollars produced not one aircraft.