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TitleTheoretical Estimate of Maximum Possible Nuclear Explosion
Author(s)Bethe, H. A.
Publication DateJanuary 31, 1950
Report NumberKAPL-294
Unique IdentifierACC0100
Other NumbersOSTI ID: 4347017
Research OrgKnolls Atomic Power Lab., Schenectady, N.Y.
Contract NoW-31-109-Eng-52
Sponsoring OrgUS Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
Other InformationDeclassified February 22, 1975
SubjectPhysics; Beryllium Moderator; Excursions; Liquid Metal Coolant; Nuclear Explosions; Plutonium; Power; Production; Reactors; Sodium
KeywordsReactor Safety
Related Web PagesHans Bethe, Energy Production in Stars, and Nuclear Physics
AbstractThe maximum nuclear accident which could occur in a Na-cooled, Be moderated, Pu and power producing reactor is estimated theoretically. (T.R.H.) 2O82 Results of nuclear calculations for a variety of compositions of fast, heterogeneous, sodium-cooled, U-235-fueled, plutonium- and power-producing reactors are reported. Core compositions typical of plate-, pin-, or wire-type fuel elements and with uranium as metal, alloy, and oxide were considered. These compositions included atom ratios in the following range: U-23B to U-235 from 2 to 8; sodium to U-235 from 1.5 to 12; iron to U-235 from 5 to 18; and vanadium to U-235 from 11 to 33. Calculations were performed to determine the effect of lead and iron reflectors between the core and blanket. Both natural and depleted uranium were evaluated as the blanket fertile material. Reactors were compared on a basis of conversion ratio, specific power, and the product of both. The calculated results are in general agreement with the experimental results from fast reactor assemblies. An analysis of the effect of new cross-section values as they became available is included. (auth)
1757 K
30 pp.
 
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