# THEORETICAL ESTIMATE OF MAXIMUM POSSIBLE NUCLEAR EXPLOSION

## Abstract

The 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)

- Authors:

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Knolls Atomic Power Lab., Schenectady, N.Y. (US)

- Sponsoring Org.:
- US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (US)

- OSTI Identifier:
- 4347017

- Report Number(s):
- KAPL-294

TRN: US200507%%75

- DOE Contract Number:
- W-31-109-ENG-52

- Resource Type:
- Technical Report

- Resource Relation:
- Other Information: Decl. Feb. 22, 1957.; PBD: 31 Jan 1950

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; ACCIDENTS; ATOMS; CONVERSION RATIO; DEPLETED URANIUM; FAST REACTORS; FERTILE MATERIALS; FUEL ELEMENTS; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; OXIDES; PLUTONIUM; SODIUM; URANIUM; VANADIUM; BERYLLIUM; EXCURSIONS; LIQUID METALS; POWER; PRODUCTION; REACTORS

### Citation Formats

```
Bethe, H A.
```*THEORETICAL ESTIMATE OF MAXIMUM POSSIBLE NUCLEAR EXPLOSION*. United States: N. p., 1950.
Web. doi:10.2172/4347017.

```
Bethe, H A.
```*THEORETICAL ESTIMATE OF MAXIMUM POSSIBLE NUCLEAR EXPLOSION*. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/4347017

```
Bethe, H A. Tue .
"THEORETICAL ESTIMATE OF MAXIMUM POSSIBLE NUCLEAR EXPLOSION". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/4347017. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/4347017.
```

```
@article{osti_4347017,
```

title = {THEORETICAL ESTIMATE OF MAXIMUM POSSIBLE NUCLEAR EXPLOSION},

author = {Bethe, H A},

abstractNote = {The 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)},

doi = {10.2172/4347017},

url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/4347017},
journal = {},

number = ,

volume = ,

place = {United States},

year = {1950},

month = {1}

}