skip to main content

SciTech Connect

Title: Explosion overpressure test series: General-Purpose Heat Source development: Safety Verification Test program

The General-Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) is a modular, radioisotope heat source that will be used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) to supply electric power for space missions. The first two uses will be the NASA Galileo and the ESA Ulysses missions. The RTG for these missions will contain 18 GPHS modules, each of which contains four /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/-fueled clads and generates 250 W/sub (t)/. A series of Safety Verification Tests (SVTs) was conducted to assess the ability of the GPHS modules to contain the plutonia in accident environments. Because a launch pad or postlaunch explosion of the Space Transportation System vehicle (space shuttle) is a conceivable accident, the SVT plan included a series of tests that simulated the overpressure exposure the RTG and GPHS modules could experience in such an event. Results of these tests, in which we used depleted UO/sub 2/ as a fuel simulant, suggest that exposure to overpressures as high as 15.2 MPa (2200 psi), without subsequent impact, does not result in a release of fuel.
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6912688
Report Number(s):
LA-10697-MS
ON: DE87002997
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; RADIOISOTOPE HEAT SOURCES; SAFETY; TESTING; VERIFICATION; MODULAR STRUCTURES; PLUTONIUM DIOXIDE; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; SPACECRAFT POWER SUPPLIES; URANIUM DIOXIDE; ACTINIDE COMPOUNDS; CHALCOGENIDES; ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT; EQUIPMENT; HEAT SOURCES; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; PLUTONIUM COMPOUNDS; PLUTONIUM OXIDES; POWER SUPPLIES; TRANSURANIUM COMPOUNDS; URANIUM COMPOUNDS; URANIUM OXIDES NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems 070300* -- Isotopic Power Supplies