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Title: Application of U10Mo Fuel for Space Fission Power Applications - White Paper

A novel reactor design has been proposed for space applications to provide hundreds of watts to one or two kilowatts of electrical power. The reactor concept proposed uses the alloy U10Mo (uranium with 10 weight percent molybdenum) as the fuel. This fuel was selected for its high uranium density, high thermal conductivity, and excellent neutronic characteristics for this application. The core is surrounded by a BeO reflector. Heat is carried from the reactor by liquid metal heat pipes. A shadow shield of LiH tungsten is also utilized to reduce the neutron and gamma radiation dose to the rest of the spacecraft. This design represents a best effort at minimizing the complexity of the fission system and reducing the mass of the system. The compact nature of the block UMo core and BeO radial reflector allows the reactor diameter to be as small as practical while still meeting the neutronic and thermal power demands. This directly results in a reduced shield mass since the reactor diameter dictates the footprint of the radiation shield. The use of heat pipes offers a straightforward primary heat transport approach using proven liquid-metal heat pipe technology. Further, the elimination of a liquid core coolant system heatmore » transport components, both at the reactor side and radiator side, contributes to reducing the total part-count and lowering system mass. The proposed reactor is using a fuel that is being developed by DOE, but there are significant differences in the fuels enrichment, operating conditions and the physical shape of the fuel itself. This paper attempts to highlight some of the basic consideration and needs that would be expected to be met in developing this fuel and qualifying it for use.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1170304
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-14-32234
TRN: US1500016
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 55. Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), Atlanta, GA (United States), 20-24 Jul 2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; NUCLEAR FUELS; DESIGN; SPACE POWER REACTORS; URANIUM ALLOYS; MOLYBDENUM ALLOYS; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; Fission Power; U10MO Fuel