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Title: Thulium-170 heat source

An isotopic heat source is formed using stacks of thin individual layers of a refractory isotopic fuel, preferably thulium oxide, alternating with layers of a low atomic weight diluent, preferably graphite. The graphite serves several functions: to act as a moderator during neutron irradiation, to minimize bremsstrahlung radiation, and to facilitate heat transfer. The fuel stacks are inserted into a heat block, which is encased in a sealed, insulated and shielded structural container. Heat pipes are inserted in the heat block and contain a working fluid. The heat pipe working fluid transfers heat from the heat block to a heat exchanger for power conversion. Single phase gas pressure controls the flow of the working fluid for maximum heat exchange and to provide passive cooling.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. (Pleasanton, CA)
  2. (Livermore, CA)
  3. (Tracy, CA)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
868139
Report Number(s):
US 5082617
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Patent
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
thulium-170; heat; source; isotopic; heat; source; formed; stacks; individual; layers; refractory; isotopic; fuel; preferably; thulium; oxide; alternating; layers; atomic; weight; diluent; preferably; graphite; graphite; serves; functions; moderator; neutron; irradiation; minimize; bremsstrahlung; radiation; facilitate; heat; transfer; fuel; stacks; inserted; heat; block; encased; sealed; insulated; shielded; structural; container; heat; pipes; inserted; heat; block; contain; fluid; heat; pipe; fluid; transfers; heat; heat; block; heat; exchanger; power; conversion; single; phase; gas; pressure; controls; flow; fluid; maximum; heat; exchange; provide; passive; cooling; atomic weight; individual layers; transfers heat; neutron irradiation; power conversion; dual layer; passive cooling; heat pipe; heat pipe; heat exchange; heat exchange; heat exchanger; heat transfer; heat source; heat source; gas pressure; single phase; heat pipes; maximum heat; isotopic heat; fluid transfer; pressure control; thulium oxide; preferably graphite /376/