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Title: Space Shielding Materials for Prometheus Application

At the time of Prometheus program restructuring, shield material and design screening efforts had progressed to the point where a down-selection from approximately eighty-eight materials to a set of five ''primary'' materials was in process. The primary materials were beryllium (Be), boron carbide (B{sub 4}C), tungsten (W), lithium hydride (LiH), and water (H{sub 2}O). The primary materials were judged to be sufficient to design a Prometheus shield--excluding structural and insulating materials, that had not been studied in detail. The foremost preconceptual shield concepts included: (1) a Be/B{sub 4}C/W/LiH shield; (2) a Be/B{sub 4}C/W shield; (3) and a Be/B{sub 4}C/H{sub 2}O shield. Since the shield design and materials studies were still preliminary, alternative materials (e.g., {sup nal}B or {sup 10}B metal) were still being screened, but at a low level of effort. Two competing low mass neutron shielding materials are included in the primary materials due to significant materials uncertainties in both. For LiH, irradiation-induced swelling was the key issue, whereas for H{sub 2}O, containment corrosion without active chemistry control was key, Although detailed design studies are required to accurately estimate the mass of shields based on either hydrogenous material, both are expected to be similar in mass, and lower massmore » than virtually any alternative. Unlike Be, W, and B{sub 4}C, which are not expected to have restrictive temperature limits, shield temperature limits and design accommodations are likely to be needed for either LiH or H{sub 2}O. The NRPCT focused efforts on understanding swelting of LiH, and observed, from approximately fifty prior irradiation tests, that either casting ar thorough out-gassing should reduce swelling. A potential contributor to LiH swelling appears to be LiOH contamination due to exposure to humid air, that can be eliminated by careful processing. To better understand LiH irradiation performance and mitigate the risks in LiH development for a project with an aggressive schedule like JIMO, some background or advanced development effort for LiH should be considered for future space reactor projects.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
883693
Report Number(s):
MDO-723-0049
TRN: US0603424
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC12-00SN39357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL), Niskayuna, NY
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 42 ENGINEERING; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; BERYLLIUM; BORON CARBIDES; CASTING; CHEMISTRY; CONTAINMENT; CONTAMINATION; CORROSION; IRRADIATION; LITHIUM HYDRIDES; NEUTRONS; SHIELDING MATERIALS; SHIELDS; SWELLING; TUNGSTEN; WATER NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; NRPCT