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Title: Safety aspects of ground testing for large nuclear rockets

Present nuclear rocket reactors under test in Nevada are operated at nominal power levels of 1000 Mw. It does not seem unreasonable in the future to anticipate reactors with power levels in the range up to 5,000 Mw for space applications. It has been shown that the normal testing of large nuclear rocket engines at NRDS could impose some restrictions on the fuel performance which would not otherwise be required by space flight operation. The only apparent alternative would require a capability for decontaminating effluent gases prior to release to the atmosphere. In addition to the source restrictions, tests will almost certainly be controlled by wind and atmospheric stability conditions, and the requirements for monitoring and control of off-site exposures will be much more stringent than those presently in force. An analysis of maximum accidents indicates that projections of present credible occurrences cannot be tolerated in larger engine tests. The apparent alternatives to a significant (order of magnitude or better) reduction in credible accident consequences, are the establishment of an underground test facility, a facility in an area equivalent to the Pacific weapons proving ground, or in space.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7053642
Report Number(s):
CONF-650540-3
DOE Contract Number:
AED-CONF-65-166--1
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: American Industrial Hygiene Association meeting, Houston, TX, USA, 4 May 1965
Research Org:
Nuclear Utility Services, Inc., Washington, DC (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; SPACE PROPULSION REACTORS; RISK ASSESSMENT; DECONTAMINATION; FIELD TESTS; MAXIMUM CREDIBLE ACCIDENT; METEOROLOGY; NEVADA TEST SITE; POLLUTION CONTROL; RADIATION MONITORING; ROCKETS; SAFETY; ACCIDENTS; CLEANING; DESIGN BASIS ACCIDENTS; MOBILE REACTORS; MONITORING; POWER REACTORS; PROPULSION REACTORS; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; REACTORS; SPACE POWER REACTORS; TESTING NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems 220900* -- Nuclear Reactor Technology-- Reactor Safety; 220800 -- Nuclear Reactor Technology-- Propulsion Reactors