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Title: The Evaluation of Lithium Hydride for Use in a Space Nuclear Reactor Shield, Including a Historical Perspective

Abstract

LiH was one of the five primary shield materials the NRPCT intended to develop (along with beryllium, boron carbide, tungsten, and water) for potential Prometheus application. It was also anticipated that {sup 10}B metal would be investigated for feasibility at a low level of effort. LiH historically has been selected as a low mass, neutron absorption material for space shields (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP), Topaz, SP-100). Initial NRPCT investigations did not produce convincing evidence that LiH was desirable or feasible for a Prometheus mission due to material property issues (primarily swelling and hydrogen cover gas containment), and related thermal design complexity. Furthermore, if mass limits allowed, an option to avoid use of LiH was being contemplated to lower development costs and associated risks. However, LiH remains theoretically the most efficient neutron shield material per unit mass, and, with sufficient testing and development, could be an optimal material choice for future flights.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL), Niskayuna, NY
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
883692
Report Number(s):
MDO-723-0048
TRN: US0603423
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC12-00SN39357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 42 ENGINEERING; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; ABSORPTION; BERYLLIUM; BORON CARBIDES; CONTAINMENT; COVER GAS; HYDROGEN; LITHIUM HYDRIDES; NEUTRONS; REACTORS; SHIELDS; SWELLING; TESTING; TUNGSTEN; WATER; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; NRPCT

Citation Formats

Poeth, D. The Evaluation of Lithium Hydride for Use in a Space Nuclear Reactor Shield, Including a Historical Perspective. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/883692.
Poeth, D. The Evaluation of Lithium Hydride for Use in a Space Nuclear Reactor Shield, Including a Historical Perspective. United States. doi:10.2172/883692.
Poeth, D. Fri . "The Evaluation of Lithium Hydride for Use in a Space Nuclear Reactor Shield, Including a Historical Perspective". United States. doi:10.2172/883692. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/883692.
@article{osti_883692,
title = {The Evaluation of Lithium Hydride for Use in a Space Nuclear Reactor Shield, Including a Historical Perspective},
author = {Poeth, D},
abstractNote = {LiH was one of the five primary shield materials the NRPCT intended to develop (along with beryllium, boron carbide, tungsten, and water) for potential Prometheus application. It was also anticipated that {sup 10}B metal would be investigated for feasibility at a low level of effort. LiH historically has been selected as a low mass, neutron absorption material for space shields (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP), Topaz, SP-100). Initial NRPCT investigations did not produce convincing evidence that LiH was desirable or feasible for a Prometheus mission due to material property issues (primarily swelling and hydrogen cover gas containment), and related thermal design complexity. Furthermore, if mass limits allowed, an option to avoid use of LiH was being contemplated to lower development costs and associated risks. However, LiH remains theoretically the most efficient neutron shield material per unit mass, and, with sufficient testing and development, could be an optimal material choice for future flights.},
doi = {10.2172/883692},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {12}
}