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Title: Gas-cooled reactor for space power systems

Reactor characteristics based on extensive development work on the 500-MWt reactor for the Pluto nuclear ramjet are described for space power systems useful in the range of 2 to 20 MWe for operating times of 1 y. The modest pressure drop through the prismatic ceramic core is supported at the outlet end by a ceramic dome which also serves as a neutron reflector. Three core materials are considered which are useful at temperatures up to about 2000 K. Most of the calculations are based on a beryllium oxide with uranium dioxide core. Reactor control is accomplished by use of a burnable poison, a variable-leakage reflector, and internal control rods. Reactivity swings of 20% are obtained with a dozen internal boron-10 rods for the size cores studied. Criticality calculations were performed using the ALICE Monte Carlo code. The inherent high-temperature capability of the reactor design removes the reactor as a limiting condition on system performance. The low fuel inventories required, particularly for beryllium oxide reactors, make space power systems based on gas-cooled near-thermal reactors a lesser safeguard risk than those based on fast reactors.
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6441179
Report Number(s):
UCRL-95973; CONF-870804-19
ON: DE87011549
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 22. intersociety energy conversion engineering conference, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 10 Aug 1987; Other Information: Paper copy only, copy does not permit microfiche production
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; SPACE POWER REACTORS; BRAYTON CYCLE POWER SYSTEMS; DESIGN; COMPUTER CALCULATIONS; GAS COOLED REACTORS; RADIATORS; REACTOR KINETICS; REACTOR MATERIALS; ENERGY SYSTEMS; HEAT EXCHANGERS; KINETICS; MATERIALS; MOBILE REACTORS; POWER REACTORS; POWER SYSTEMS; REACTORS NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems 210600* -- Power Reactors, Auxiliary, Mobile Package, & Transportable; 210300 -- Power Reactors, Nonbreeding, Graphite Moderated