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Title: Radioisotope Power System Delivery, Ground Support and Nuclear Safety Implementation: Use of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory

Radioisotope power systems have been used for over 50 years to enable missions in remote or hostile environments. They are a convenient means of supplying a few milliwatts up to a few hundred watts of useable, long-term electrical power. With regard to use of a radioisotope power system, the transportation, ground support and implementation of nuclear safety protocols in the field is a complex process that requires clear identification of needed technical and regulatory requirements. The appropriate care must be taken to provide high quality treatment of the item to be moved so it arrives in a condition to fulfill its missions in space. Similarly it must be transported and managed in a manner compliant with requirements for shipment and handling of special nuclear material. This presentation describes transportation, ground support operations and implementation of nuclear safety and security protocols for a radioisotope power system using recent experience involving the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars Science Laboratory, which launched in November of 2011.
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Conference: International Nuclear Materials Management Conference,Atlanta, GA,07/21/2014,07/24/2014
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Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; Ground Support; Implementation of MMRTG; Radioisotope Power