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Title: A 50-100 kWe gas-cooled reactor for use on Mars.

In the space exploration field there is a general consensus that nuclear reactor powered systems will be extremely desirable for future missions to the outer solar system. Solar systems suffer from the decreasing intensity of solar radiation and relatively low power density. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators are limited to generating a few kilowatts electric (kWe). Chemical systems are short-lived due to prodigious fuel use. A well designed 50-100 kWe nuclear reactor power system would provide sufficient power for a variety of long term missions. This thesis will present basic work done on a 50-100 kWe reactor power system that has a reasonable lifespan and would function in an extraterrestrial environment. The system will use a Gas-Cooled Reactor that is directly coupled to a Closed Brayton Cycle (GCR-CBC) power system. Also included will be some variations on the primary design and their effects on the characteristics of the primary design. This thesis also presents a variety of neutronics related calculations, an examination of the reactor's thermal characteristics, feasibility for use in an extraterrestrial environment, and the reactor's safety characteristics in several accident scenarios. While there has been past work for space reactors, the challenges introduced by thin atmospheres like those on Marsmore » have rarely been considered.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. (.)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
886894
Report Number(s):
SAND2006-2189
TRN: US0604166
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; ACCIDENTS; BRAYTON CYCLE; DESIGN; EXPLORATION; GAS COOLED REACTORS; POWER DENSITY; POWER SYSTEMS; RADIOISOTOPES; REACTORS; SAFETY; SOLAR RADIATION; SOLAR SYSTEM; THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; Thermoelectric generators.; Radioisotopes-Industrial applications.; SPACE POWER REACTORS