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Title: Solid-Core, Gas-Cooled Reactor for Space and Surface Power

Abstract

The solid-core, gas-cooled, Submersion-Subcritical Safe Space (S and 4) reactor is developed for future space power applications and avoidance of single point failures. The Mo-14%Re reactor core is loaded with uranium nitride fuel in enclosed cavities, cooled by He-30%Xe, and sized to provide 550 kWth for seven years of equivalent full power operation. The beryllium oxide reflector disassembles upon impact on water or soil. In addition to decreasing the reactor and shadow shield mass, Spectral Shift Absorber (SSA) materials added to the reactor core ensure that it remains subcritical in the worst-case submersion accident. With a 0.1 mm thick boron carbide coating on the outside surface of the core block and 0.25 mm thick iridium sleeves around the fuel stacks, the reflector outer diameter is 43.5 cm and the combined reactor and shadow shield mass is 935.1 kg. With 12.5 atom% gadolinium-155 added to the fuel, 2.0 mm diameter gadolinium-155 sesquioxide intersititial pins, and a 0.1 mm thick gadolinium-155 sesquioxide coating, the S and 4 reactor has a slightly smaller reflector outer diameter of 43.0 cm, and a total reactor and shield mass of 901.7 kg. With 8.0 atom% europium-151 added to the fuel, 2.0 mm diameter europium-151 sesquioxide interstitialmore » pins, and a 0.1 mm thick europium-151 sesquioxide coating, the reflector's outer diameter and the total reactor and shield mass are further reduced to 41.5 cm and 869.2 kg, respect0011ive.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20797988
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 813; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 10. conference on thermophysics applications in microgravity; 23. symposium on space nuclear power and propulsion; 4. conference on human/robotic technology and the national vision for space exploration; 4. symposium on space colonization; 3. symposium on new frontiers and future concepts, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 12-16 Feb 2006; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2169206; (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; BERYLLIUM OXIDES; BORON CARBIDES; EUROPIUM 151; GADOLINIUM 155; GAS COOLED REACTORS; IRIDIUM; POWER GENERATION; POWER SYSTEMS; REACTOR CORES; REACTOR MATERIALS; SHIELDS; SPACE; SPACE VEHICLES; SPECTRAL SHIFT; SURFACES; URANIUM NITRIDES; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems

Citation Formats

King, Jeffrey C., El-Genk, Mohamed S., and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Solid-Core, Gas-Cooled Reactor for Space and Surface Power. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2169206.
King, Jeffrey C., El-Genk, Mohamed S., & Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Solid-Core, Gas-Cooled Reactor for Space and Surface Power. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2169206.
King, Jeffrey C., El-Genk, Mohamed S., and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Fri . "Solid-Core, Gas-Cooled Reactor for Space and Surface Power". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2169206.
@article{osti_20797988,
title = {Solid-Core, Gas-Cooled Reactor for Space and Surface Power},
author = {King, Jeffrey C. and El-Genk, Mohamed S. and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131},
abstractNote = {The solid-core, gas-cooled, Submersion-Subcritical Safe Space (S and 4) reactor is developed for future space power applications and avoidance of single point failures. The Mo-14%Re reactor core is loaded with uranium nitride fuel in enclosed cavities, cooled by He-30%Xe, and sized to provide 550 kWth for seven years of equivalent full power operation. The beryllium oxide reflector disassembles upon impact on water or soil. In addition to decreasing the reactor and shadow shield mass, Spectral Shift Absorber (SSA) materials added to the reactor core ensure that it remains subcritical in the worst-case submersion accident. With a 0.1 mm thick boron carbide coating on the outside surface of the core block and 0.25 mm thick iridium sleeves around the fuel stacks, the reflector outer diameter is 43.5 cm and the combined reactor and shadow shield mass is 935.1 kg. With 12.5 atom% gadolinium-155 added to the fuel, 2.0 mm diameter gadolinium-155 sesquioxide intersititial pins, and a 0.1 mm thick gadolinium-155 sesquioxide coating, the S and 4 reactor has a slightly smaller reflector outer diameter of 43.0 cm, and a total reactor and shield mass of 901.7 kg. With 8.0 atom% europium-151 added to the fuel, 2.0 mm diameter europium-151 sesquioxide interstitial pins, and a 0.1 mm thick europium-151 sesquioxide coating, the reflector's outer diameter and the total reactor and shield mass are further reduced to 41.5 cm and 869.2 kg, respect0011ive.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2169206},
journal = {AIP Conference Proceedings},
number = 1,
volume = 813,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 20 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Jan 20 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}