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Title: A review of gas-cooled reactor concepts for SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) applications

Abstract

We have completed a review of multimegawatt gas-cooled reactor concepts proposed for SDI applications. Our study concluded that the principal reason for considering gas-cooled reactors for burst-mode operation was the potential for significant system mass savings over closed-cycle systems if open-cycle gas-cooled operation (effluent exhausted to space) is acceptable. The principal reason for considering gas-cooled reactors for steady-state operation is that they may represent a lower technology risk than other approaches. In the review, nine gas-cooled reactor concepts were compared to identify the most promising. For burst-mode operation, the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) derivative reactor concept emerged as a strong first choice since its performance exceeds the anticipated operational requirements and the technology has been demonstrated and is retrievable. Although the NERVA derivative concepts were determined to be the lead candidates for the Multimegawatt Steady-State (MMWSS) mode as well, their lead over the other candidates is not as great as for the burst mode. 90 refs., 2 figs., 10 tabs.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE/NE
OSTI Identifier:
5619371
Report Number(s):
SAND-87-0558
ON: DE89016962
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-76DP00789
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; HTGR TYPE REACTORS; COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS; MASS; SPACE WEAPONS; BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE; BRAYTON CYCLE POWER SYSTEMS; FUEL PELLETS; HYDROGEN FUELS; MULTIWIRE PROPORTIONAL CHAMBERS; NERVA REACTOR; PARTICLE-CORE COUPLING MODEL; PLUTO REACTOR; PULSED REACTORS; RANKINE CYCLE POWER SYSTEMS; REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; RISK ASSESSMENT; SPACE POWER REACTORS; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT; THERMIONIC FUEL ELEMENTS; ENERGY SYSTEMS; ENRICHED URANIUM REACTORS; FUEL ELEMENTS; FUELS; GAS COOLED REACTORS; GRAPHITE MODERATED REACTORS; HEAVY WATER COOLED REACTORS; HEAVY WATER MODERATED REACTORS; HYDROGEN COOLED REACTORS; IRRADIATION REACTORS; MATERIALS TESTING REACTORS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; MEASURING INSTRUMENTS; MOBILE REACTORS; NATIONAL DEFENSE; NUCLEAR MODELS; PELLETS; POWER REACTORS; POWER SYSTEMS; PROPORTIONAL COUNTERS; PROPULSION REACTORS; RADIATION DETECTORS; REACTOR COMPONENTS; REACTORS; SPACE PROPULSION REACTORS; SYNTHETIC FUELS; TANK TYPE REACTORS; THERMAL REACTORS; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; 210300* - Power Reactors, Nonbreeding, Graphite Moderated; 210600 - Power Reactors, Auxiliary, Mobile Package, & Transportable; 450202 - Explosions & Explosives- Nuclear- Weaponry- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Marshall, A C. A review of gas-cooled reactor concepts for SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) applications. United States: N. p., 1989. Web. doi:10.2172/5619371.
Marshall, A C. A review of gas-cooled reactor concepts for SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) applications. United States. doi:10.2172/5619371.
Marshall, A C. Tue . "A review of gas-cooled reactor concepts for SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) applications". United States. doi:10.2172/5619371. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5619371.
@article{osti_5619371,
title = {A review of gas-cooled reactor concepts for SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) applications},
author = {Marshall, A C},
abstractNote = {We have completed a review of multimegawatt gas-cooled reactor concepts proposed for SDI applications. Our study concluded that the principal reason for considering gas-cooled reactors for burst-mode operation was the potential for significant system mass savings over closed-cycle systems if open-cycle gas-cooled operation (effluent exhausted to space) is acceptable. The principal reason for considering gas-cooled reactors for steady-state operation is that they may represent a lower technology risk than other approaches. In the review, nine gas-cooled reactor concepts were compared to identify the most promising. For burst-mode operation, the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) derivative reactor concept emerged as a strong first choice since its performance exceeds the anticipated operational requirements and the technology has been demonstrated and is retrievable. Although the NERVA derivative concepts were determined to be the lead candidates for the Multimegawatt Steady-State (MMWSS) mode as well, their lead over the other candidates is not as great as for the burst mode. 90 refs., 2 figs., 10 tabs.},
doi = {10.2172/5619371},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1989},
month = {8}
}