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Title: Important technology considerations for space nuclear power systems

This paper discusses the technology considerations that guide the development of space nuclear power sources (NPS) by the Department of Energy (DOE) to meet a wide variety of applications. The Department and its predecessor agencies have been developing NPS since the 1950s and producing NPS for spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) since the early 1960s. No one nuclear power type, isotope or reactor, will suffice over the entire range of mission power required. Nor is one type of power conversion system, be it static or dynamic, the optimum choice of all space nuclear power system applications. There is a need for DOE, in partnership with its users, NASA and DOD, to develop a variety of types of space nuclear power sources -- isotope-static, isotope-dynamic, reactor-static, and reactor-dynamic -- to meet mission requirements well into the next century. 2 figs., 1 tab.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
ON: DE89004005
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products
Research Org:
USDOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Washington, DC
Country of Publication:
United States
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; SPACE POWER REACTORS; TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT; EFFICIENCY; HISTORICAL ASPECTS; NUMERICAL DATA; PERFORMANCE; POWER RANGE 100-1000 KW; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; DATA; INFORMATION; MOBILE REACTORS; POWER REACTORS; REACTORS NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems 210600* -- Power Reactors, Auxiliary, Mobile Package, & Transportable; 290500 -- Energy Planning & Policy-- Research, Development, Demonstration, & Commercialization; 320201 -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Transportation-- Air & Aerospace