In the 1950s, nuclear power was something new and amazing and nobody was really thinking about the dangers of radiation. Instead, they were thinking about how to cram nuclear reactors into everything that moved, from cars to planes to zeppelins.
As extreme as many of these vehicles are, nuclear propulsion is something that's not uncommon today. Submarines rely on it, as do aircraft carriers and ice breakers. Even the next Mars rover, Curiosity, uses a radioisotope thermoelectric generator for power. And while it's true that we're not all driving around in nuclear cars, we are starting to drive around in electric cars, which in many cases get their juice from nuclear power plants.
We might not have the nuclear future as envisioned in the 1950s, but we do have a partially nuclear present right now, and, with a little work, we can have a safe nuclear future, too.
Dark Roasted Blend put together a gallery of some of the more fantastical concepts, and you can see our favorites in the gallery below.