WorldWideScience

Sample records for 10a space nuclear

  1. NaK flow control by electromagnetic pump of the SNAP-10A space nuclear reactor

    In the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv), were developed, successfully, the first two direct current electromagnetic pumps (DC EM pumps) of Brazil. The first was built with C-type magnet and coils; and the second, with Samarium-Cobalt permanent magnets, for magnetic field generation. Both were tested and performed quite satisfactory. The electromagnetic pump uses the Faraday principle, in which the interaction of the magnetic field and electric current generates the magneto-motive force, which produces the circulation of the fluid. This type of equipment may be used for controlling the liquid metal flow in nuclear space fast reactors. This paper shows the computer programs developed for design and evaluation of DC EM and electromagnetic thermoelectric (EMTE) pumps, the DC EM pump of Samarium-Cobalt magnets data to Mercury loop flow control, the EMTE pump of SNAP space nuclear reactor. It also compares the theoretical results to experimental data of NaK primary loop flow control by electromagnetic thermoelectric pump of the SNAP-10A space nuclear reactor, with satisfactory results, confirming the viability of the electromagnetic pumps evaluation scheme. (author)

  2. Nuclear power in space

    The development of space nuclear power and propulsion in the United States started in 1955 with the initiation of the ROVER project. The first step in the ROVER program was the KIWI project that included the development and testing of 8 non-flyable ultrahigh temperature nuclear test reactors during 1955-1964. The KIWI project was precursor to the PHOEBUS carbon-based fuel reactor project that resulted in ground testing of three high power reactors during 1965-1968 with the last reactor operated at 4,100 MW. During the same time period a parallel program was pursued to develop a nuclear thermal rocket based on cermet fuel technology. The third component of the ROVER program was the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) that was initiated in 1961 with the primary goal of designing the first generation of nuclear rocket engine based on the KIWI project experience. The fourth component of the ROVER program was the Reactor In-Flight Test (RIFT) project that was intended to design, fabricate, and flight test a NERVA powered upper stage engine for the Saturn-class lunch vehicle. During the ROVER program era, the Unites States ventured in a comprehensive space nuclear program that included design and testing of several compact reactors and space suitable power conversion systems, and the development of a few light weight heat rejection systems. Contrary to its sister ROVER program, the space nuclear power program resulted in the first ever deployment and in-space operation of the nuclear powered SNAP-10A in 1965. The USSR space nuclear program started in early 70's and resulted in deployment of two 6 kWe TOPAZ reactors into space and ground testing of the prototype of a relatively small nuclear rocket engine in 1984. The US ambition for the development and deployment of space nuclear powered systems was resurrected in mid 1980's and intermittently continued to date with the initiation of several research programs that included the SP-100, Space Exploration

  3. SNAP Nuclear Space Reactors

    Corliss, William R

    1966-01-01

    This booklet describes the principles of nuclear-reactor space power plants and shows how they will contribute to the exploration and use of space. It compares them with chemical fuels, solar cells, and systems using energy from radioisotopes. The SNAP (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power) Program, begun in 1955, is described.

  4. Nuclear Power in Space

    1994-01-01

    In the early years of the United States space program, lightweight batteries, fuel cells, and solar modules provided electric power for space missions. As missions became more ambitious and complex, power needs increased and scientists investigated various options to meet these challenging power requirements. One of the options was nuclear energy. By the mid-1950s, research had begun in earnest on ways to use nuclear power in space. These efforts resulted in the first radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which are nuclear power generators build specifically for space and special terrestrial uses. These RTGs convert the heat generated from the natural decay of their radioactive fuel into electricity. RTGs have powered many spacecraft used for exploring the outer planets of the solar system and orbiting the sun and Earth. They have also landed on Mars and the moon. They provide the power that enables us to see and learn about even the farthermost objects in our solar system.

  5. Space nuclear power systems

    Materials of the 19-th Symposium on Space Nuclear Energetic and Engine Units taking place in 2002, in Albuquerque, USA are reviewed. Reports on transformation of heat energy produced by nuclear reactors in electrical one are presented in the reports. Result of works on improvement as traditional (Brayton and Rankine cycles, thermoelectricity and thermionic emission), so innovation converter systems (Stirling engine, alkali metal thermal to electric converter - AMTEC, thermoacoustic engine) are represented

  6. Space technology needs nuclear power

    Space technology needs nuclear power to solve its future problems. Manned space flight to Mars is hardly feasible without nuclear propulsion, and orbital nuclear power lants will be necessary to supply power to large satellites or large space stations. Nuclear power also needs space technology. A nuclear power plant sited on the moon is not going to upset anybody, because of the high natural background radiation level existing there, and could contribute to terrestrial power supply. (orig./HP)

  7. Space flight requires nuclear energy

    To be able to solve its future tasks, space flight needs nuclear energy: manned space flight to the Mars is almost unthinkable without nuclear propulsion, and orbital nuclear power plants will be required for the power supply of high-capacity satellites or large space stations. Nuclear energy needs space flight: a nuclear power plant on the moon does not bother man because of the high natural radiation exposure existing there, and could contribute to terrestrial power supply. (orig./HSCH)

  8. Nuclear Propulsion for Space Applications

    Houts, M. G.; Bechtel, R. D.; Borowski, S. K.; George, J. A.; Kim, T.; Emrich, W. J.; Hickman, R. R.; Broadway, J. W.; Gerrish, H. P.; Adams, R. B.

    2013-01-01

    Basics of Nuclear Systems: Long history of use on Apollo and space science missions. 44 RTGs and hundreds of RHUs launched by U.S. during past 4 decades. Heat produced from natural alpha (a) particle decay of Plutonium (Pu-238). Used for both thermal management and electricity production. Used terrestrially for over 65 years. Fissioning 1 kg of uranium yields as much energy as burning 2,700,000 kg of coal. One US space reactor (SNAP-10A) flown (1965). Former U.S.S.R. flew 33 space reactors. Heat produced from neutron-induced splitting of a nucleus (e.g. U-235). At steady-state, 1 of the 2 to 3 neutrons released in the reaction causes a subsequent fission in a "chain reaction" process. Heat converted to electricity, or used directly to heat a propellant. Fission is highly versatile with many applications.

  9. Space Nuclear Power Systems

    Houts, Michael G.

    2012-01-01

    Fission power and propulsion systems can enable exciting space exploration missions. These include bases on the moon and Mars; and the exploration, development, and utilization of the solar system. In the near-term, fission surface power systems could provide abundant, constant, cost-effective power anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars, independent of available sunlight. Affordable access to Mars, the asteroid belt, or other destinations could be provided by nuclear thermal rockets. In the further term, high performance fission power supplies could enable both extremely high power levels on planetary surfaces and fission electric propulsion vehicles for rapid, efficient cargo and crew transfer. Advanced fission propulsion systems could eventually allow routine access to the entire solar system. Fission systems could also enable the utilization of resources within the solar system.

  10. Nuclearity for Dual Operator Spaces

    Zhe Dong; Jicheng Tao

    2010-02-01

    In this short paper, we study the nuclearity for the dual operator space $V^∗$ of an operator space . We show that $V^∗$ is nuclear if and only if $V^{∗∗∗}$ is injective, where $V^{∗∗∗}$ is the third dual of . This is in striking contrast to the situation for general operator spaces. This result is used to prove that $V^{∗∗}$ is nuclear if and only if is nuclear and $V^{∗∗}$ is exact.

  11. Nuclear propulsion for space exploration

    Miller, Thomas J.; Bennett, Gary L.

    1992-01-01

    The results of some recent studies of the application of both nuclear electric and nuclear thermal propulsion systems in space exploration are presented. Issues that require further study and which have a significant effect on the propulsion system design and selection are identified. Attention is given to robotic missions, lunar piloted and cargo missions, and Mars missions.

  12. Space nuclear reactor power plants

    Requirements for electrical and propulsion power for space are expected to increase dramatically in the 1980s. Nuclear power is probably the only source for some deep space missions and a major competitor for many orbital missions, especially those at geosynchronous orbit. Because of the potential requirements, a technology program on space nuclear power plant components has been initiated by the Department of Energy. The missions that are foreseen, the current power plant concept, the technology program plan, and early key results are described

  13. In-space nuclear propulsion

    Bruno, C.; Dujarric, C.

    2013-02-01

    The past and the recent status of nuclear propulsion (NP) for application to space mission is presented. The case for using NP in manned space missions is made based on fundamental physics and on the necessity to ensure safe radiation doses to future astronauts. In fact, the presence of solar and galactic-cosmic radiation poses substantial risks to crews traveling for months in a row to destinations such as asteroids and Mars. Since passive or active shields would be massive to protect against the more energetic part of the radiation energy spectrum, the only alternative is to reduce dose by traveling faster. Hence the importance of propulsion systems with much higher specific impulse than that of current chemical systems, and thus the use of nuclear propulsion. Nuclear-thermal and nuclear-electric propulsions are then discussed in view of their potential application to missions now in the preliminary planning stage by space agencies and industries and being considered by the ISECG international panel. In this context, recent ideas for future use of the ISS that may require NP are also presented.

  14. Nuclear space power safety and facility guidelines study

    This report addresses safety guidelines for space nuclear reactor power missions and was prepared by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) under a Department of Energy grant, DE-FG01-94NE32180 dated 27 September 1994. This grant was based on a proposal submitted by the JHU/APL in response to an open-quotes Invitation for Proposals Designed to Support Federal Agencies and Commercial Interests in Meeting Special Power and Propulsion Needs for Future Space Missionsclose quotes. The United States has not launched a nuclear reactor since SNAP 10A in April 1965 although many Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) have been launched. An RTG powered system is planned for launch as part of the Cassini mission to Saturn in 1997. Recently the Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO) sponsored the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) which was to demonstrate and evaluate the Russian-built TOPAZ II nuclear reactor as a power source in space. As of late 1993 the flight portion of this program was canceled but work to investigate the attributes of the reactor were continued but at a reduced level. While the future of space nuclear power systems is uncertain there are potential space missions which would require space nuclear power systems. The differences between space nuclear power systems and RTG devices are sufficient that safety and facility requirements warrant a review in the context of the unique features of a space nuclear reactor power system

  15. Space nuclear thermal propulsion program

    Haslett, R.A.

    1994-12-31

    This report describes te development and funding problems of the space nuclear thermal propulsion program (SNTP). The SNTP program was transferred to the air force, and almost immediately , they indicated that they would have to terminate the program because of a decreasing defense budget and other air force priorities. Congress continued to strongly support the program and $55 million was appropriated for fiscal year 1993, but the air force would not release any of the money to the program. By the summer of 1993, barely 18 months after the program was transferred to the air force, the SNTP team had essentially stopped all work and reduced to a skeleton staff to perform an orderly termination. Despite the significant accomplishments of the program and the endorsements it received from two DSBs, the 1994 Congressional Appropriations Committee had no alternative but to withhold further funding support since no cognizant agency (air force, NASA, or the DOE) was willing to take the lead and continue the technology for future space applications. Once again, the inability to forge cooperation between government agencies for a long-term goal doomed another nuclear technology program. The technology is currently being documented to the extent possible with existing funds because it is clear that a compact lightweight PBR space power and/or propulsion system will be required to enable unmanned and eventually manned exploration of the solar system.

  16. Nuclear Energy for Space Exploration

    Houts, Michael G.

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion systems can enable exciting space exploration missions. These include bases on the moon and Mars; and the exploration, development, and utilization of the solar system. In the near-term, fission surface power systems could provide abundant, constant, cost-effective power anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars, independent of available sunlight. Affordable access to Mars, the asteroid belt, or other destinations could be provided by nuclear thermal rockets. In the further term, high performance fission power supplies could enable both extremely high power levels on planetary surfaces and fission electric propulsion vehicles for rapid, efficient cargo and crew transfer. Advanced fission propulsion systems could eventually allow routine access to the entire solar system. Fission systems could also enable the utilization of resources within the solar system. Fusion and antimatter systems may also be viable in the future

  17. Nuclear energy in the space: panorama 1985

    A panoramic view of different areas where nuclear energy can be applied in space is given. These are: radioisotope thermoelectric generators, nuclear reactors for space stations, space crafts and air crafts. The principal difficulties are pointed out and the safety aspect is emphasized. (author)

  18. Space nuclear power and man's extraterrestrial civilization

    This paper examines leading space nuclear power technology candidates. Particular emphasis is given the heat-pipe reactor technology currently under development at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This program is aimed at developing a 10-100 kWe, 7-year lifetime space nuclear power plant. As the demand for space-based power reaches megawatt levels, other nuclear reactor designs including: solid core, fluidized bed, and gaseous core, are considered

  19. Overview of space nuclear technologies and the American Nuclear Society

    The American Nuclear Society (ANS) has seen an aspect of the universe where nuclear technology is the best energy source available for power, transportation, etc. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been exploiting this aspect of the universe by sending machines and humans into it and exploring, colonizing, industrializing, developing, inhabiting, etc. Space is the final frontier, and nuclear technology is the best suited for today's or the next century's space exploration and development. Many aspects of nuclear technology and its uses in space will be needed. ANS encompasses these and many more aspects of nuclear technology, and all have some role to play in the exploration and development of space. It should be ANS's intent to be an advisory body to NASA on the nuclear aspects of space exploration

  20. A philosophy for space nuclear systems safety

    The unique requirements and contraints of space nuclear systems require careful consideration in the development of a safety policy. The Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG) for the Space Exploration Initiative has proposed a hierarchical approach with safety policy at the top of the hierarchy. This policy allows safety requirements to be tailored to specific applications while still providing reassurance to regulators and the general public that the necessary measures have been taken to assure safe application of space nuclear systems. The safety policy used by the NSPWG is recommended for all space nuclear programs and missions

  1. Autonomous Control of Space Nuclear Reactors Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Nuclear reactors to support future robotic and manned missions impose new and innovative technological requirements for their control and protection...

  2. Coordinating Space Nuclear Research Advancement and Education

    The advancement of space exploration using nuclear science and technology has been a goal sought by many individuals over the years. The quest to enable space nuclear applications has experienced many challenges such as funding restrictions; lack of political, corporate, or public support; and limitations in educational opportunities. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) was established at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) with the mission to address the numerous challenges and opportunities relevant to the promotion of space nuclear research and education.1 The CSNR is operated by the Universities Space Research Association and its activities are overseen by a Science Council comprised of various representatives from academic and professional entities with space nuclear experience. Program participants in the CSNR include academic researchers and students, government representatives, and representatives from industrial and corporate entities. Space nuclear educational opportunities have traditionally been limited to various sponsored research projects through government agencies or industrial partners, and dedicated research centers. Centralized research opportunities are vital to the growth and development of space nuclear advancement. Coordinated and focused research plays a key role in developing the future leaders in the space nuclear field. The CSNR strives to synchronize research efforts and provide means to train and educate students with skills to help them excel as leaders.

  3. Nuclear Propulsion for Space (Rev.)

    Corliss, William R; Schwenk, Francis C

    1971-01-01

    The operation of nuclear rockets and a description of the development of nuclear rockets in the U.S. is given. Early developments and Project Rover, Project Pluto, and the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) Program are detailed. The Nuclear Rocket Development Station facilities in Nevada are described. The possibilities and advantages of using nuclear rockets for missions beginning from an earth orbit and moving outward toward higher earth orbits, the moon, and the planets are discussed.

  4. Overview of DOE space nuclear propulsion programs

    Newhouse, Alan R.

    1993-01-01

    An overview of Department of Energy space nuclear propulsion programs is presented in outline and graphic form. DOE's role in the development and safety assurance of space nuclear propulsion is addressed. Testing issues and facilities are discussed along with development needs and recent research activities.

  5. Space nuclear power: a strategy for tomorrow

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J. Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Energy: reliable, portable, abundant and low cost will be a most critical factor, perhaps the sine qua non, for the unfolding of man's permanent presence in space. Space-based nuclear power, in turn, is a key technology for developing such space platforms and the transportation systems necessary to service them. A strategy for meeting space power requirements is the development of a 100-kW(e) nuclear reactor system for high earth orbit missions, transportation from Shuttle orbits to geosynchronous orbit, and for outer planet exploration. The component technology for this nuclear power plant is now underway at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. As permanent settlements are established on the Moon and in space, multimegawatt power plants will be needed. This would involve different technology similar to terrestrial nuclear power plants.

  6. Fission ships[Nuclear space propulsion

    Kleiner, Kurt

    2000-12-02

    This article focuses on the paper project on the development of nuclear propulsion for space craft and considers the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear-powered rockets over conventional designs. Details are given of the miniature reactor engine, MITEE, its fuel elements fabricated from rolled metal sheets impregnated with uranium oxide fuel particles, its operation which is similar to that of a jet engine, and its anticipated use to travel through the atmosphere of Jupiter and to cut the travel time to planets. Public concern regarding nuclear energy is given as one of the reasons why NASA is unlikely to launch a nuclear-powered space craft in the near future.

  7. Autonomous Control of Space Nuclear Reactors Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Nuclear reactors to support future lunar and Mars robotic and manned missions impose new and innovative technological requirements for their control and protection...

  8. Transactions of the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D. (eds.)

    1987-01-01

    This paper contains the presented papers at the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems. Topics of these papers include: space nuclear missions and applications, reactors and shielding, nuclear electric and nuclear propulsion, refractory alloys and high-temperature materials, instrumentation and control, energy conversion and storage, space nuclear fuels, thermal management, nuclear safety, simulation and modeling, and multimegawatt system concepts. (LSP)

  9. Transactions of the fifth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D. (eds.)

    1988-01-01

    This paper contains the presented papers at the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems. Topics of these paper include: space nuclear missions and applications, reactors and shielding, nuclear electric and nuclear propulsion, high-temperature materials, instrumentation and control, energy conversion and storage, space nuclear fuels, thermal management, nuclear safety, simulation and modeling, and multimegawatt system concepts. (LSP)

  10. Nuclear power engineering in space. Nuclear rocket engines

    Full text: This film tells about the scientific-technical conference on the problems of the nuclear rocket engine creation for space application. The mankind is at the threshold of flights to the nearest planets of the Solar system. Nuclear power transforms the fantasy into the reality. Nuclear power works not only at the nuclear plants of electric and heat supply but also in the powerful compact engines capable to transport space crafts with a man on board to the other planets of the Solar System. The International scientific-technical conference 'Nuclear Power Engineering in Space. Nuclear Rocket Engines', held in September 22-26, 1992 in Semipalatinsk (Kazakhstan) was dedicated to this topic discussed up to now only at the pages of fiction novels and confidential scientific papers. The leading USA firms occupied with problems of space and nuclear power engineering, scientific-research institutes of Russian Federation and Kazakhstan are among the Conference participants. The modern state-of-ths-art, problems, mathematical modeling of processes in NRE, technology of the high-temperature fuel creation, experimental abilities and achievements of the NRE ground running tests, ecological problems of the NRE tests and application were discussed at the Conference. The film includes video information about the first Soviet prototype nuclear propulsion facility (with maximum temperature about 3000 deg. C), that never was demonstrated before. (author)

  11. Nuclear energy propulsion in space

    Nuclear energy can be used under two different ways in spatial applications, first the most common is the production of electricity that is used to supply an electrical propulsion system. The second way is the thermal propulsion where the nuclear reactor is considered as a heat exchanger whose purpose is to heat a gas that will expand in a nozzle. The thermal propulsion implies that the nuclear fuel and some reactor components will have to sustain very high temperatures ( > 2000 K) and important temperature gradients over short time intervals. Because of size and mass constraints propulsion reactors require highly enriched uranium fuels, in such cases power densities reach 1 to 10 MW / liter of core, which is by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude bigger than in a PWR-type power reactor, this represents a true technological challenge. In this article 2 projects: ERATO concerning spatial power generation and MAPS concerning thermal propulsion are presented. (A.C.)

  12. Nuclear power: opening new vistas in space

    The nation faces a wide range of future civilian and military mission opportunities in space. However, many of the power requirements for these applications are beyond the capabilities of currently available energy sources. Nuclear energy can provide a prime source of this enabling power and the Department of Energy is fully committed to meeting the engineering and management challenges in developing nuclear power for space applications. The elements of the department's current Space Nuclear Power Program: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG's), Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS), Multi-Hundred Kilowatt Space Reactor Power System (SP-100), and Multimegawatt (MMW) Reactor Concepts are summarized. Several aspects of these efforts are discussed including Safety, Mission Focus, and Technology Development

  13. The nuclear energy use in Space

    Two ways of the nuclear energy use are possible in spatial applications. The first one is the electric power production to supply satellites, space vehicles or electric propulsion. The second one, less obvious, is the thermal-nuclear propulsion where the nuclear reactor is a thermal exchanger for a gas. These two applications are presented in this paper, with two examples of projects realized in collaboration of the CNES and the CEA: ERATO as an electrical generator and MAPS as the nucleo-thermal propulsion. (A.L.B.)

  14. Nuclear Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Exploration

    Schmidt, G.

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) holds considerable promise for deep space exploration in the future. Research and development of this technology is a key element of NASA's Nuclear Systems Initiative (NSI), which is a top priority in the President's FY03 NASA budget. The goal is to develop the subsystem technologies that will enable application of NEP for missions to the outer planets and beyond by the beginning of next decade. The high-performance offered by nuclear-powered electric thrusters will benefit future missions by (1) reducing or eliminating the launch window constraints associated with complex planetary swingbys, (2) providing the capability to perform large spacecraft velocity changes in deep space, (3) increasing the fraction of vehicle mass allocated to payload and other spacecraft systems, and, (3) in some cases, reducing trip times over other propulsion alternatives. Furthermore, the nuclear energy source will provide a power-rich environment that can support more sophisticated science experiments and higher- speed broadband data transmission than current deep space missions. This paper addresses NASA's plans for NEP, and discusses the subsystem technologies (i.e., nuclear reactors, power conversion and electric thrusters) and system concepts being considered for the first generation of NEP vehicles.

  15. Telerobotic technology for nuclear and space applications

    Telerobotic development efforts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are extensive and relatively diverse. Current efforts include development of a prototype space telerobot system for the NASA Langley Research Center and development and large-scale demonstration of nuclear fuel cycle teleoperators in the Consolidated Fuel Reprocessing Program. This paper presents an overview of the efforts in these major programs. 10 refs., 8 figs

  16. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion for Advanced Space Exploration

    Houts, M. G.; Borowski, S. K.; George, J. A.; Kim, T.; Emrich, W. J.; Hickman, R. R.; Broadway, J. W.; Gerrish, H. P.; Adams, R. B.

    2012-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on NTP could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  17. Space exploration with nuclear propulsion systems

    Venetoklis, P.

    1994-12-31

    One of the greatest obstacles to the human exploration of space has been the physical limit in the efficiency of chemical propulsion systems. Chemical propulsion has been a mature technology for decades, and efficiency improvements over this time span have amounted to only a few percent. The limits of chemical propulsion have forced the space exploration community to develop other strategies for overcoming the strictures imposed by gravity in their exploration pursuits. These strategies have their own limits and invariably result in increased costs and mission time. Nuclear propulsion does not face the same physical limitations as chemical propulsion. Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems generate twice the efficiency of the best modern chemical systems, and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems promise efficiencies 10 to 20 times that of chemical propulsion. These dramatic improvements provide mission planners with such an enormous leap in capability that the full range of possibilities has yet to be identified. This paper identifies the range of missions identified to date that benefit from nuclear propulsion, attempts to quantify the benefits, and discusses issues associated with the incorporation of nuclear propulsion into spacecraft.

  18. Multi-mode nuclear space power systems

    This paper is concerned with early versions of multi-mode nuclear space power systems (M-M NSPS) and their important mission applications for the early years of the next century. These systems are characterized as being capable of selectively operating over wide ranges of electric power levels and duty cycles and also produce direct propulsive thrust. Their special configurations will be composed of both current and neoteric elements and special configurations requiring substantial analysis, research, development and test

  19. Nuclear space propulsion initiative in Brazil

    Guimaraes, Lamartine Nogueira Frutuoso; Nascimento, Jamil Alves do [Institute for Advanced Studies, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil). Nuclear Energy Div.]. E-mail: guimarae@ieav.cta.br; Camillo, Giannino Ponchio [Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica (ITA), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil)]. E-mail: gianninocamillo@gmail.com

    2007-07-01

    This paper presents an account of the initial nuclear space propulsion activities at the Institute for Advanced Studies. At this point two laboratories have been assembled: one for heat pipe construction and testing and another one for thermal cycle analysis. It has also started the design of a thermal loop to study heat extraction and electricity generation in a NEP, the development of a dynamic mathematical model to represent this thermal loop, the selection of gas mixtures as working fluids to the thermal cycle, the production of two heat pipes for properties measurements and to establish design criteria to assemble heat pipes to be used as a heat rejection system. For the reactor core area a review of the core concepts proposed in other countries for space applications was initiated. This review will enable the choice of a core concept suitable to Brazilian needs in space. (author)

  20. Impact loading of a space nuclear powerplant

    Evgeny I. Kraus

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Preferred formulation of the problem in two space dimensions are described for solving the three fundamental equations of mechanics (conservation of mass, conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy. Models of the behavior of materials provide the closure to the three fundamentals equations for applications to problems in compressible fluid flow and solid mechanics. Models of fracture and damage are described. A caloric model of the equation of state is proposed to describe thermodynamic properties of solid materials with the phase transitions. Two-dimensional problems of a high-velocity impact of a space nuclear propulsion system reactor are solved. High-velocity impact problems of destruction of reactor are solved for the two cases: 1 at its crash landing on the Earth surface (the impact velocity being up to 400 m/s; 2 at its impact (with velocity up to 16 km/s with the space debris fragments.

  1. Tethered nuclear power for the space station

    A nuclear space power system the SP-100 is being developed for future missions where large amounts of electrical power will be required. Although it is primarily intended for unmanned spacecraft, it can be adapted to a manned space platform by tethering it above the station through an electrical transmission line which isolates the reactor far away from the inhabited platform and conveys its power back to where it is needed. The transmission line, used in conjunction with an instrument rate shield, attenuates reactor radiation in the vicinity of the space station to less than one-one hundredth of the natural background which is already there. This combination of shielding and distance attenuation is less than one-tenth the mass of boom-mounted or onboard man-rated shields that are required when the reactor is mounted nearby. This paper describes how connection is made to the platform (configuration, operational requirements) and introduces a new element the coaxial transmission tube which enables efficient transmission of electrical power through long tethers in space. Design methodology for transmission tubes and tube arrays is discussed. An example conceptual design is presented that shows SP-100 at three power levels 100 kWe, 300 kWe, and 1000 kWe connected to space station via a 2 km HVDC transmission line/tether. Power system performance, mass, and radiation hazard are estimated with impacts on space station architecture and operation. 23 references

  2. Performance Criteria of Nuclear Space Propulsion Systems

    Shepherd, L. R.

    Future exploration of the solar system on a major scale will require propulsion systems capable of performance far greater than is achievable with the present generation of rocket engines using chemical propellants. Viable missions going deeper into interstellar space will be even more demanding. Propulsion systems based on nuclear energy sources, fission or (eventually) fusion offer the best prospect for meeting the requirements. The most obvious gain coming from the application of nuclear reactions is the possibility, at least in principle, of obtaining specific impulses a thousandfold greater than can be achieved in chemically energised rockets. However, practical considerations preclude the possibility of exploiting the full potential of nuclear energy sources in any engines conceivable in terms of presently known technology. Achievable propulsive power is a particularly limiting factor, since this determines the acceleration that may be obtained. Conventional chemical rocket engines have specific propulsive powers (power per unit engine mass) in the order of gigawatts per tonne. One cannot envisage the possibility of approaching such a level of performance by orders of magnitude in presently conceivable nuclear propulsive systems. The time taken, under power, to reach a given terminal velocity is proportional to the square of the engine's exhaust velocity and the inverse of its specific power. An assessment of various nuclear propulsion concepts suggests that, even with the most optimistic assumptions, it could take many hundreds of years to attain the velocities necessary to reach the nearest stars. Exploration within a range of the order of a thousand AU, however, would appear to offer viable prospects, even with the low levels of specific power of presently conceivable nuclear engines.

  3. Proceedings of the eighth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    The eighth symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Separate abstracts have been prepared for the papers presented in Part Three of the conference proceedings in the following areas of interest: space power electronics; heat pipe technology; space nuclear fuels for propulsion reactors; power systems concepts; use of artificial intelligence in space; key issues in space nuclear power; flight qualifications and testing (including SP-100 nuclear assembly test program); microgravity two phase flow; simulation and modeling; manufacturing and processing; and space environmental effects. (MB)

  4. Non-Nuclear Testing of Space Nuclear Systems at NASA MSFC

    Houts, Michael G.; Pearson, Boise J.; Aschenbrenner, Kenneth C.; Bradley, David E.; Dickens, Ricky; Emrich, William J.; Garber, Anne; Godfroy, Thomas J.; Harper, Roger T.; Martin, Jim J.; Polzin, Kurt; Schoenfeld, Michael P.; Webster, Kenneth L.

    2010-01-01

    Highly realistic non-nuclear testing can be used to investigate and resolve potential issues with space nuclear power and propulsion systems. Non-nuclear testing is particularly useful for systems designed with fuels and materials operating within their demonstrated nuclear performance envelope. Non-nuclear testing allows thermal hydraulic, heat transfer, structural, integration, safety, operational, performance, and other potential issues to be investigated and resolved with a greater degree of flexibility and at reduced cost and schedule compared to nuclear testing. The primary limit of non-nuclear testing is that nuclear characteristics and potential nuclear issues cannot be directly investigated. However, non-nuclear testing can be used to augment the potential benefit from any nuclear testing that may be required for space nuclear system design and development. This paper describes previous and ongoing non-nuclear testing related to space nuclear systems at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

  5. Proceedings of the eighth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    The eighth symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Separate abstracts have been prepared for the papers presented in Part One of the conference proceedings in the following areas of interest: space applications/exploration; space nuclear safety (including Ulysses safety analysis and evaluation); reactor materials; reactors and shielding; space missions and power needs; nuclear electric propulsion: systems concepts; and static energy conversion systems. (MB)

  6. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies.

    Berman, Marshall

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) is one of the nation's largest research and development (R&D) facilities, with headquarters at Albuquerque, New Mexico; a laboratory at Livermore, California; and a test range near Tonopah, Nevada. Smaller testing facilities are also operated at other locations. Established in 1945, Sandia was operated by the University of California until 1949, when, at the request of President Truman, Sandia Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of Bell Lab's Western Electric Company to operate Sandia as a service to the U.S. Government without profit or fee. Sandia is currently operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by AT&T Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T. Sandia's responsibility is national security programs in defense and energy with primary emphasis on nuclear weapon research and development (R&D). However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. Assets, owned by DOE and valued at more than $1.2 billion, include about 600 major buildings containing about 372,000 square meters (m2) (4 million square feet [ft2]) of floor space, located on land totalling approximately 1460 square kilometers (km2) (562 square miles [mi]). Sandia employs about 8500 people, the majority in Albuquerque, with about 1000 in Livermore. Approximately 60% of Sandia's employees are in technical and scientific positions, and the remainder are in crafts, skilled labor, and administrative positions. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. The purpose of this brochure is to provide the reader with a brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space. Sandia is interested in forming partnerships with industry and government

  7. Propulsion of space ships by nuclear explosion

    Linhart, J. G.; Kravárik, J.

    2005-01-01

    Recent progress in the research on deuterium-tritium (D-T) inertially confined microexplosions encourages one to reconsider the nuclear propulsion of spaceships based on the concept originally proposed in the Orion project. We discuss first the acceleration of medium-sized spaceships by D-T explosions whose output is in the range of 0.1 10 t of TNT. The launching of such a ship into an Earth orbit or beyond by a large nuclear explosion in an underground cavity is sketched out in the second section of the paper, and finally we consider a hypothetical Mars mission based on these concepts. In the conclusion it is argued that propulsion based on the Orion concept only is not the best method for interplanetary travel owing to the very large number of nuclear explosion required. A combination of a super gun and subsequent rocket propulsion using advanced chemical fuels appears to be the best solution for space flights of the near future.

  8. The role of nuclear reactors in space exploration and development

    The United States has launched more than 20 radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) into space over the past 30 yr but has launched only one nuclear reactor, and that was in 1965. Russia has launched more than 30 reactors. The RTGs use the heat of alpha decay of 238Pu for power and typically generate 235U; typical designs are for 100 to 1000 kW of electricity. The only US space reactor launch (SNAP-10A) was a demonstration mission. One reason for the lack of space reactor use by the United States was the lack of space missions that required high power. But, another was the assumed negative publicity that would accompany a reactor launch. The net result is that all space reactor programs after 1970 were terminated before an operating space reactor could be developed, and they are now many years from recovering the ability to build them. Two major near-term needs for space reactors are the human exploration of Mars and advanced missions to and beyond the orbit of Jupiter. To help obtain public acceptance of space reactors, one must correct some of the misconceptions concerning space reactors and convey the following facts to the public and to decision makers: Space reactors are 1000 times smaller in power and size than a commercial power reactor. A space reactor at launch is only as radioactive as a pile of dirt 60 m (200 ft) across. A space reactor contains no plutonium at launch. It does not become significantly radioactive until it is turned on, and it will be engineered so that no launch accident can turn it on, even if that means fueling it after launch. The reactor will not be turned on until it is in a high stable orbit or even on an earth-escape trajectory for some missions. The benefits of space reactors are that they give humanity a stairway to the planets and perhaps the stars. They open a new frontier for their children and their grandchildren. They pave the way for all life on earth to move out into the solar system. At one time, humans built and

  9. Spaces of Flows 1.0: A working experience using Sixth Sense Transport technology

    Dickinson, Janet; Speed, Chris

    2013-01-01

    The networks that constitute businesses, organisations and social groups often retain consistent patterns of movement and flow across time and space. Tourists visit the same locations in a city, shops use the consistent suppliers who in turn use the same routes to supply goods to the shops, and social networks walk the same streets to the same bars on a regular basis. Although not predictable, these patterns may allow opportunities for exchange and potentially energy saving if networks are sh...

  10. Nuclear-safety criteria and specifications for space nuclear reactors

    The policy of the United States for all US nuclear power sources in space is to ensure that the probability of release of radioactive material and the amounts released are such that an undue risk is not presented, considering the benefits of the mission. The objective of this document is to provide safety criteria which a mission/reactor designer can use to help ensure that the design is acceptable from a radiological safety standpoint. These criteria encompass mission design, reactor design, and radiological impact limitation requirements for safety, and the documentation required. They do not address terrestrial operations, occupational safety or system reliability except where the systems are important for radiological safety. Specific safety specifications based on these criteria shall also be generated and made part of contractual requirements

  11. Space parity violation in nuclear fission

    Space parity violation in low energy fission was observed by the Soviet physicists in 1977 in the course of the angular distribution investigations of the light and heavy fragments in the polarized thermal neutron fission of 233,235U and 239Pu. Unexpected large values of the P-odd asymmetry coefficients (αnf ∼ 10-4) were obtained in the angular distribution W(0) = 1 + bar αnf (bar σn · pf). So large values of αnf looked very strange because of the existence of numerous different exit channels in fission process (∼108 - 1010) and a small relative value of nonconserving space parity potential of the weak NN-interaction (∼ 10-7). In addition to the P-violating asymmetry bar αnf P-conserving right-left asymmetry of the fission fragment angular distribution W (θ) = 1 + α RLnf pf · αn x pf was observed in 1979. The main goal of the new experimental investigations of P-odd and P-even effects in fission was a search of the possible relationships between the asymmetry coefficients and the characteristics of the entrance and exit channels in slow neutron fission. In this paper the brief review of the experimental results obtained by different groups is given. The main part of these results have been obtained at the WWR-M reactor of Leningrad Nuclear Physics Institute (LNPI)

  12. Titanium Loop Heat Pipes for Space Nuclear Radiators Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop titanium Loop Heat Pipes (LHPs) that can be used in low-mass space nuclear radiators, such as...

  13. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    Difilippo, F. C.

    1998-01-01

    The analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires the calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options in an iterative way by using simulations that run fast on a computer. As a consequence of a collaborative agreement between the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), ORNL has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition, dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one

  14. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    Difilippo, F.C. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Bldg. 6025, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6363 (United States)

    1998-01-01

    The analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires the calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options in an iterative way by using simulations that run fast on a computer. As a consequence of a collaborative agreement between the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), ORNL has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition, dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one

  15. Coordinate-space picture of nuclear structure functions

    We discuss quark mobility distributions Q (y+) defined as Fourier transformations of momentum-space structure functions F2(xBj). We find that nuclear effects in coordinate space are negligible for light-cone distances y+ (Ioffe times) up to 5 fm. At large y+, nuclear shadowing sets in. (author)

  16. Startup control of the TOPAZ-II space nuclear reactor

    Astrin, Cal D.

    1996-01-01

    Approved for public release; distribution isunlimited. The Russian designed and manufactured TOPAZ-II Thermionic Nuclear Space Reactor has been supplied to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization for study as part of the TOPAZ International Program. A Preliminary Nuclear Safety Assessment investigated the readiness to use the TOPAZ-II in support of a Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Mission (NEPSTP). Among the anticipated system modifications required for launching the TOPAZ-II sy...

  17. Legal Implications of Nuclear Propulsion for Space Objects

    Pop, V.

    2002-01-01

    This paper is intended to examine nuclear propulsion concepts such as "Project Orion", "Project Daedalus", NERVA, VASIMIR, from the legal point of view. The UN Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space apply to nuclear power sources in outer space devoted to the generation of electric power on board space objects for non-propulsive purposes, and do not regulate the use of nuclear energy as a means of propulsion. However, nuclear propulsion by means of detonating atomic bombs (ORION) is, in principle, banned under the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water. The legality of use of nuclear propulsion will be analysed from different approaches - historical (i.e. the lawfulness of these projects at the time of their proposal, at the present time, and in the future - in the light of the mutability and evolution of international law), spatial (i.e. the legal regime governing peaceful nuclear explosions in different spatial zones - Earth atmosphere, Earth orbit, Solar System, and interstellar space), and technical (i.e, the legal regime applicable to different nuclear propulsion techniques, and to the various negative effects - e.g. damage to other space systems as an effect of the electromagnetic pulse, etc). The paper will analyse the positive law, and will also come with suggestions "de lege ferenda".

  18. Space Nuclear Propulsion Systems and Applications

    Schwenk, F. C.

    1972-01-01

    The basic principles of the operation of a nuclear rocket engine are reviewed along with a summary of the early history. In addition, the technology status in the nuclear rocket program for development of the flight-rated NERVA engine is described, and applications for this 75,000-pound thrust engine and the results of nuclear stage studies are presented. Advanced research and supporting technology activities in the nuclear rocket program are also summarized.

  19. Space nuclear reactors: energy gateway into the next millennium

    Power - reliable, abundant and economic - is the key to man's conquest of the Solar System. Space activities of the next few decades will be highlighted by the creation of the extraterrestrial phase of human civilization. Nuclear power is needed both to propel massive quantities of materials through cislunar and eventually translunar space, and to power the sophisticated satellites, space platforms, and space stations of tomorrow. To meet these anticipated future space power needs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing components for a compact, 100-kW(e) heat pipe nuclear reactor. The objectives of this program are to develop components for a space nuclear power plant capable of unattended operation for 7 to 10 years; having a reliability of greater than 0.95; and weighing less than 1910 kg. In addition, this heat pipe reactor is also compatible for launch by the US Space Transportation System

  20. Ongoing Space Nuclear Systems Development in the United States

    Reliable, long-life power systems are required for ambitious space exploration missions. Nuclear power and propulsion options can enable a bold, new set of missions and introduce propulsion capabilities to achieve access to science destinations that are not possible with more conventional systems. Space nuclear power options can be divided into three main categories: radioisotope power for heating or low power applications; fission power systems for non-terrestrial surface application or for spacecraft power; and fission power systems for electric propulsion or direct thermal propulsion. Each of these areas has been investigated in the United States since the 1950s, achieving various stages of development. While some nuclear systems have achieved flight deployment, others continue to be researched today. This paper will provide a brief overview of historical space nuclear programs in the U.S. and will provide a summary of the ongoing space nuclear systems research, development, and deployment in the United States.

  1. Ongoing Space Nuclear Systems Development in the United States

    S. Bragg-Sitton; J. Werner; S. Johnson; Michael G. Houts; Donald T. Palac; Lee S. Mason; David I. Poston; A. Lou Qualls

    2011-10-01

    Reliable, long-life power systems are required for ambitious space exploration missions. Nuclear power and propulsion options can enable a bold, new set of missions and introduce propulsion capabilities to achieve access to science destinations that are not possible with more conventional systems. Space nuclear power options can be divided into three main categories: radioisotope power for heating or low power applications; fission power systems for non-terrestrial surface application or for spacecraft power; and fission power systems for electric propulsion or direct thermal propulsion. Each of these areas has been investigated in the United States since the 1950s, achieving various stages of development. While some nuclear systems have achieved flight deployment, others continue to be researched today. This paper will provide a brief overview of historical space nuclear programs in the U.S. and will provide a summary of the ongoing space nuclear systems research, development, and deployment in the United States.

  2. Space nuclear power supply design in the shuttle ERA

    Developing technology and the transition period of the late 1970's from expendable launchers to reusable space shuttles and from single satellite designs to standardized and modularized configurations represents a strong motivation and unique opportunity to actively investigate new applications of nuclear power for satellites. The work reported here consists of a many faceted effort to establish nuclear power supply design guidelines for space missions through the 1980s. Configuration, integration, and launch constraints are reviewed. Of particular interest is the space shuttle system and new technologies related to nuclear power. These will require significant new innovations to optimize future missions

  3. Recent measurements for hadrontherapy and space radiation: nuclear physics

    Miller, J.

    2001-01-01

    The particles and energies commonly used for hadron therapy overlap the low end of the charge and energy range of greatest interest for space radiation applications, Z=1-26 and approximately 100-1000 MeV/nucleon. It has been known for some time that the nuclear interactions of the incident ions must be taken into account both in treatment planning and in understanding and addressing the effects of galactic cosmic ray ions on humans in space. Until relatively recently, most of the studies of nuclear fragmentation and transport in matter were driven by the interests of the nuclear physics and later, the hadron therapy communities. However, the experimental and theoretical methods and the accelerator facilities developed for use in heavy ion nuclear physics are directly applicable to radiotherapy and space radiation studies. I will briefly review relevant data taken recently at various accelerators, and discuss the implications of the measurements for radiotherapy, radiobiology and space radiation research.

  4. Space Nuclear Space Program. Progress report, December 1983

    Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)

    1984-06-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Results from safety-verification tests including impact tests are presented.

  5. Recent advances in nuclear powered electric propulsion for space exploration

    Cassady, R. Joseph [Aerojet Corp., Redmond, CA (United States); Frisbee, Robert H. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Gilland, James H. [Ohio Aerospace Institute, Cleveland, OH (United States); Houts, Michael G. [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (United States); LaPointe, Michael R. [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (United States)], E-mail: michael.r.lapointe@nasa.gov; Maresse-Reading, Colleen M. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Oleson, Steven R. [NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH (United States); Polk, James E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Russell, Derrek [Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, CA (United States); Sengupta, Anita [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States)

    2008-03-15

    Nuclear and radioisotope powered electric thrusters are being developed as primary in space propulsion systems for potential future robotic and piloted space missions. Possible applications for high-power nuclear electric propulsion include orbit raising and maneuvering of large space platforms, lunar and Mars cargo transport, asteroid rendezvous and sample return, and robotic and piloted planetary missions, while lower power radioisotope electric propulsion could significantly enhance or enable some future robotic deep space science missions. This paper provides an overview of recent US high-power electric thruster research programs, describing the operating principles, challenges, and status of each technology. Mission analysis is presented that compares the benefits and performance of each thruster type for high priority NASA missions. The status of space nuclear power systems for high-power electric propulsion is presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of power and thruster development strategies for future radioisotope electric propulsion systems.

  6. Recent Advances in Nuclear Powered Electric Propulsion for Space Exploration

    Cassady, R. Joseph; Frisbee, Robert H.; Gilland, James H.; Houts, Michael G.; LaPointe, Michael R.; Maresse-Reading, Colleen M.; Oleson, Steven R.; Polk, James E.; Russell, Derrek; Sengupta, Anita

    2007-01-01

    Nuclear and radioisotope powered electric thrusters are being developed as primary in-space propulsion systems for potential future robotic and piloted space missions. Possible applications for high power nuclear electric propulsion include orbit raising and maneuvering of large space platforms, lunar and Mars cargo transport, asteroid rendezvous and sample return, and robotic and piloted planetary missions, while lower power radioisotope electric propulsion could significantly enhance or enable some future robotic deep space science missions. This paper provides an overview of recent U.S. high power electric thruster research programs, describing the operating principles, challenges, and status of each technology. Mission analysis is presented that compares the benefits and performance of each thruster type for high priority NASA missions. The status of space nuclear power systems for high power electric propulsion is presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of power and thruster development strategies for future radioisotope electric propulsion systems,

  7. Importance of Nuclear Physics to NASA's Space Missions

    Tripathi, R. K.; Wilson, J. W.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    2001-01-01

    We show that nuclear physics is extremely important for accurate risk assessments for space missions. Due to paucity of experimental input radiation interaction information it is imperative to develop reliable accurate models for the interaction of radiation with matter. State-of-the-art nuclear cross sections models have been developed at the NASA Langley Research center and are discussed.

  8. Planning for the Space Exploration Initiative - The nuclear propulsion option

    Bennett, Gary L.; Miller, Thomas J.

    1991-01-01

    The Space Exploration Initiative includes both lunar and Mars program elements as well as robotic science missions. Space transportation is a primary part of all planning for exploration. The high performance propulsion capabilities of nuclear propulsion offer the potential to reduce substantially the flight times to and from Mars and to reduce the mass launched into low earth orbit.

  9. Safety aspects of nuclear waste disposal in space

    Rice, E. E.; Edgecombe, D. S.; Compton, P. R.

    1981-01-01

    Safety issues involved in the disposal of nuclear wastes in space as a complement to mined geologic repositories are examined as part of an assessment of the feasibility of nuclear waste disposal in space. General safety guidelines for space disposal developed in the areas of radiation exposure and shielding, containment, accident environments, criticality, post-accident recovery, monitoring systems and isolation are presented for a nuclear waste disposal in space mission employing conventional space technology such as the Space Shuttle. The current reference concept under consideration by NASA and DOE is then examined in detail, with attention given to the waste source and mix, the waste form, waste processing and payload fabrication, shipping casks and ground transport vehicles, launch site operations and facilities, Shuttle-derived launch vehicle, orbit transfer vehicle, orbital operations and space destination, and the system safety aspects of the concept are discussed for each component. It is pointed out that future work remains in the development of an improved basis for the safety guidelines and the determination of the possible benefits and costs of the space disposal option for nuclear wastes.

  10. Evaluating Russian space nuclear reactor technology for United States applications

    Space nuclear power and nuclear electric propulsion are considered important technologies for planetary exploration, as well as selected earth orbit applications. The Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) was intended to provide an early flight demonstration of these technologies at relatively low cost through extensive use of existing Russian technology. The key element of Russian technology employed in the program was the Topaz II reactor. Refocusing of the activities of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), combined with budgetary pressures, forced the cancellation of the NEPSTP at the end of the 1993 fiscal year. The NEPSTP was faced with many unique flight qualification issues. In general, the launch of a spacecraft employing a nuclear reactor power system complicates many spacecraft qualification activities. However, the NEPSTP activities were further complicated because the reactor power system was a Russian design. Therefore, this program considered not only the unique flight qualification issues associated with space nuclear power, but also with differences between Russian and United States flight qualification procedures. This paper presents an overview of the NEPSTP. The program goals, the proposed mission, the spacecraft, and the Topaz II space nuclear power system are described. The subject of flight qualification is examined and the inherent difficulties of qualifying a space reactor are described. The differences between United States and Russian flight qualification procedures are explored. A plan is then described that was developed to determine an appropriate flight qualification program for the Topaz II reactor to support a possible NEPSTP launch

  11. The benefits of using nuclear electric propulsion in space.

    Detsis, Emmanouil; Bauer, Waldemar; CLIQUET-MORENO, Elisa; Gaia, Enrico; Hodgson, Zara; Jansen, Frank; Koroteev, Anatoliy; Masson, Frederic; Semenkin, Alexander; Tinsley, Tim; Tosi, Maria Cristina; RUAULT, Jean-Marc; Worms, Jean-Claude

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) can offer multiple advantages in regards to space exploration. Significant gains can be realised in flight time (by eliminating the need for gravity assists, even for deep space missions), on-board power availability (with a power level an order of magnitude higher of what is available today) and payload mass delivered to the selected target. To deliver a spacecraft in the 2030-2040 timeframe, necessary ground and space demonstration missions will be required...

  12. Proposal of Space Reactor for Nuclear Electric Propulsion System

    Nagata, Hidetaka; Nishiyama, Takaaki; Nakashima, Hideki

    Currently, the solar battery, the chemical cell, and the RI battery are used for the energy source in space. However, it is difficult for them to satisfy requirements for deep space explorations. Therefore, other electric power sources which can stably produce high electric energy output, regardless of distance from the sun, are necessary to execute such missions. Then, we here propose small nuclear reactors as power sources for deep space exploration, and consider a conceptual design of a small nuclear reactor for Nuclear Electric Propulsion System. It is found from nuclear analyses that the Gas-Cooled reactor could not meet the design requirement imposed on the core mass. On the other hand, a light water reactor is found to be a promising alternative to the Gas-Cooled reactor.

  13. Opening up the future in space with nuclear power

    Man's extraterrestrial development is dependent on abundant power. For example, space-based manufacturing facilities are projected to have a power demand of 300 kWe by the end of this Century, and several megawatts in the early part of next millennium. The development of the lunar resource base will result in power needs ranging from an initial 100 kW(e) to many megawatts. Human visits to Mars could be achieved using a multimegawatt nuclear electric propulsion system or high thrust nuclear rockets. Detailed exploration of the solar system will also be greatly enhanced by the availability of large nuclear electric propulsion systems. All of these activities will require substantial increases in space power - hundreds of kilowatts to many megawatts. The challenge is clear: how to effectively use nuclear energy to support humanity's expansion into space

  14. Effects of Nuclear Interactions on Accuracy of Space Radiation Transport

    Lin, Zi-Wei; Barghouty, A. F.

    2005-01-01

    Space radiation risk to astronauts and electronic equipments is one major obstacle in long term human space explorations. Space radiation transport codes have been developed to calculate radiation effects behind materials in human missions to the Moon, Mars or beyond. We study how nuclear fragmentation processes affect the accuracy of predictions from such radiation transport. In particular, we investigate the effects of fragmentation cross sections at different energies on fluxes, dose and dose-equivalent from galactic cosmic rays behind typical shielding materials. These results tell us at what energies nuclear cross sections are the most important for radiation risk evaluations, and how uncertainties in our knowledge about nuclear fragmentations relate to uncertainties in space transport predictions.

  15. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities Subpanel. Final report

    On 20 Jul. 1989, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, President George Bush proclaimed his vision for manned space exploration. He stated, 'First for the coming decade, for the 1990's, Space Station Freedom, the next critical step in our space endeavors. And next, for the new century, back to the Moon. Back to the future. And this time, back to stay. And then, a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet, a manned mission to Mars.' On 2 Nov. 1989, the President approved a national space policy reaffirming the long range goal of the civil space program: to 'expand human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit into the solar system.' And on 11 May 1990, he specified the goal of landing Astronauts on Mars by 2019, the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the Moon. To safely and ever permanently venture beyond near Earth environment as charged by the President, mankind must bring to bear extensive new technologies. These include heavy lift launch capability from Earth to low-Earth orbit, automated space rendezvous and docking of large masses, zero gravity countermeasures, and closed loop life support systems. One technology enhancing, and perhaps enabling, the piloted Mars missions is nuclear propulsion, with great benefits over chemical propulsion. Asserting the potential benefits of nuclear propulsion, NASA has sponsored workshops in Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and has initiated a tri-agency planning process to ensure that appropriate resources are engaged to meet this exciting technical challenge. At the core of this planning process, NASA, DOE, and DOD established six Nuclear Propulsion Technical Panels in 1991 to provide groundwork for a possible tri-agency Nuclear Propulsion Program and to address the President's vision by advocating an aggressive program in nuclear propulsion. To this end the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Technology Panel has focused it energies

  16. Space nuclear power: Key to outer solar system exploration

    In 1995, in response to threatened budget cuts, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) approved a position paper supporting the maintenance of the technology base for space nuclear power. The position paper contained four recomemndations: (1) DOE, NASA, and DoD should develop and support an integrated program that maintains the nuclear option and develops the needed high-payoff technologies; (2) Congress should provide strong, continuing financial and political support for the agencies' program; (3) Government and industry leaders should voice their advocacy for a strong space nuclear power program to support future system requirements; and (4) The US should continue to maintain its cooperation and technical interchanges with other countries to advance nuclear power source technology and to promote nuclear safety

  17. Nuclear electric ion propulsion for three deep space missions

    Chiravalle, Vincent P.

    2008-03-01

    Nuclear electric ion propulsion is considered for three sample deep space missions starting from a 500 km low Earth orbit encompassing the transfer of a 100 MT payload into a 1500 km orbit around Mars, the rendezvous of a 10 MT payload with the Jovian moon Europa and the rendezvous of a similar payload with Saturn's moon Titan. Near term ion engine and space nuclear reactor technology are assumed. It is shown that nuclear electric ion propulsion offers more than twice the payload for the Mars mission relative to the case when a nuclear thermal rocket is used for the trans-Mars injection maneuver at Earth, and about the same payload advantage relative to the case when solar electric propulsion is used for the Mars heliocentric transfer. For missions to the outer planets nuclear electric ion propulsion increases the payload mass fraction by a factor of two or more compared with high thrust systems that utilize gravity assist trajectories.

  18. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    Research on monolithic refractory metal alloys and on metal matrix composites is being conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, in support of advanced space power systems. The overall philosophy of the research is to develop and characterize new high-temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites (Gr/Cu) for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites (W/NB) for fuel containment and structural supports) considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications

  19. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    Titran, Robert H.; Grobstein, Toni L.; Ellis, David L.

    1991-01-01

    The overall philosophy of the research was to develop and characterize new high temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites for fuel containment and structural supports) considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications.

  20. Infrared monitoring of nuclear power in space

    Using parameters for unclassified astronomical observatories based on Maui and on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, we have determined the level of confidence of monitoring a ban on nuclear power in earth orbit. Existing military and astronomical observatories can detect and identify operating nuclear power sources on satellites, such as the Soviet RORSAT and American SP100, with a very high level of confidence to distances beyond geosynchronous orbit. A cold reactor can be detected with a medium level of confidence with visual observations by close-flying reconnaissance satellites with medium confidence, and in the future with very high confidence with the interrogation of neutrons. The smaller thermal sources, RTG and DIPS, could be detected with medium level of confidence under certain conditions. Large pulsed reactors can be detected with a medium confidence level with visual observations from close satellites, and with a very high level of confidence with neutron interrogation

  1. Infrared monitoring of nuclear power in space

    Hafemeister, David W.

    1988-12-01

    Using parameters for unclassified astronomical observatories based on Maui and on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, we have determined the level of confidence of monitoring a ban on nuclear power in earth orbit. Existing military and astronomical observatories can detect and identify operating nuclear power sources on satellites, such as the Soviet RORSAT and American SP100, with a very high level of confidence to distances beyond geosynchronous orbit. A cold reactor can be detected with a medium level of confidence with visual observations by close-flying reconnaissance satellites with medium confidence, and in the future with very high confidence with the interrogation of neutrons. The smaller thermal sources, RTG and DIPS, could be detected with medium level of confidence under certain conditions. Large pulsed reactors can be detected with a medium confidence level with visual observations from close satellites, and with a very high level of confidence with neutron interrogation.

  2. Nuclear tumor suppressors in space and time.

    Barbie, David A; Conlan, Lindus A; Kennedy, Brian K

    2005-07-01

    Numerous studies have identified key binding partners and functional activities of nuclear tumor-suppressor proteins such as the retinoblastoma protein, p53 and BRCA1. Historically, less attention has been given to the subnuclear locations of these proteins. Here, we describe several recent studies that promote the view that regulated association with subcompartments of the nucleus is inherent to tumor-suppressor function. PMID:15936946

  3. ESA's approach to nuclear power sources for space applications

    Nuclear power sources for space (NPS) are, according to current physics knowledge, the only power source option for some classes of space missions. Europe has successfully used nuclear power sources for space exploration missions (e.g. Huygens lander on Titan, Ulysses spacecraft). While some small-scale study and development efforts have been undertaken at national level during the past 40 years, these did not go beyond study and early prototype designing level. In the light of further European integration and European ambitions in space, an independent working group involving European institutional stakeholders has discussed options and proposed coherent European positions concerning the safety, use and development of NPS technology in Europe. This paper presents safety aspects and options as identified by this European Working Group and ongoing related ESA (European Space Agency) activities in this field. (authors)

  4. Nuclear space power and propulsion requirements and issues

    The use of nuclear power in space is going through a low point. The kinds of missions that would use nuclear power are expensive and there are few new expensive missions. Both NASA and DoD are in a mode of cheaper, faster, better, which means using what is available as much as possible and only incorporating new technology to reduce mission cost. NASA is performing Mission to Planet Earth and detailed exploration missions of Mars. These NASA missions can be done with solar-battery power subsystems and there is no need for nuclear power. The NASA mission to Pluto does require nuclear radioisotope power. Ways to reduce the power subsystem cost and the power level are being investigated. NASA is studying ways to explore beyond Mars with solar-battery power because of the cost and uncertainty in the availability and launchability of nuclear space power systems. The DoD missions are all in earth orbit and can be done with solar-battery systems. The major DoD requirement at present is to reduce costs of all their space missions. One way to do this is to develop highly efficient upper stage boosters that can be integrated with lower cost Earth to low orbit stages and still place their payloads in to higher orbits. One attractive upper stage is a nuclear bimodal (propulsion and power) engine to accomplished lower booster cost to place space assets in GEO. However this is not being pursued because of DOE's new policy not to fund nuclear space power research and development as well as the difficulty in obtaining launch approval for nuclear propulsion and power systems

  5. Nuclear space power and propulsion requirements and issues

    Swerdling, M. [IR Associates, North Hills, CA (United States); Isenberg, L. [IR Associates, La Habra, CA (United States)

    1995-12-31

    The use of nuclear power in space is going through a low point. The kinds of missions that would use nuclear power are expensive and there are few new expensive missions. Both NASA and DoD are in a mode of cheaper, faster, better, which means using what is available as much as possible and only incorporating new technology to reduce mission cost. NASA is performing Mission to Planet Earth and detailed exploration missions of Mars. These NASA missions can be done with solar-battery power subsystems and there is no need for nuclear power. The NASA mission to Pluto does require nuclear radioisotope power. Ways to reduce the power subsystem cost and the power level are being investigated. NASA is studying ways to explore beyond Mars with solar-battery power because of the cost and uncertainty in the availability and launchability of nuclear space power systems. The DoD missions are all in earth orbit and can be done with solar-battery systems. The major DoD requirement at present is to reduce costs of all their space missions. One way to do this is to develop highly efficient upper stage boosters that can be integrated with lower cost Earth to low orbit stages and still place their payloads in to higher orbits. One attractive upper stage is a nuclear bimodal (propulsion and power) engine to accomplished lower booster cost to place space assets in GEO. However this is not being pursued because of DOE`s new policy not to fund nuclear space power research and development as well as the difficulty in obtaining launch approval for nuclear propulsion and power systems.

  6. Impact loading of a space nuclear powerplant

    Evgeny I. Kraus; Ivan I. Shabalin

    2013-01-01

    Preferred formulation of the problem in two space dimensions are described for solving the three fundamental equations of mechanics (conservation of mass, conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy). Models of the behavior of materials provide the closure to the three fundamentals equations for applications to problems in compressible fluid flow and solid mechanics. Models of fracture and damage are described. A caloric model of the equation of state is proposed to describe thermody...

  7. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1998-12-31

    Analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options iteratively by using fast computer simulations. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition. dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one-dimensional versions of the equations of conservation of mass, energy, and momentum with compressible flow. 10 refs., 1 tab.

  8. Progress report on nuclear propulsion for space exploration and science

    Bennett, Gary L.; Miller, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

    NASA is continuing its work in cooperation with the Department of Energy (DOE) on nuclear propulsion - both nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP). The focus of the NTP studies remains on piloted and cargo missions to Mars (with precursor missions to the moon) although studies are under way to examine the potential uses of NTP for science missions. The focus of the NEP studies has shifted to space science missions with consideration of combining a science mission with an earlier demonstration of NEP using the SP-100 space nuclear reactor power system. Both NTP and NEP efforts are continuing in 1993 to provide a good foundation for science and exploration planners. Both NTP and NEP provide a very important transportation resource and in a number of cases enable missions that could not otherwise be accomplished.

  9. Percolation in finite space. A picture of nuclear fragmentation

    The statistical aspects of cluster distributions as a decisive factor in high energy nuclear fragmentation are studied on a finite lattice model. The qualitative behaviour of the mass spectra is understood in terms of a simple model in which finite space constraints play the main role. Both, the light and the heavy mass sector of the spectrum are derived analytically. In the low density regime the model includes those results of Fisher's condensation theory which are frequently applied to nuclear fragmentation. (orig.)

  10. The MAUS nuclear space reactor with ion propulsion system

    Mainardi, Enrico

    2006-06-01

    MAUS (Moltiplicatore Avanzato Ultracompatto Spaziale) is a nuclear reactor concept design capable to ensure a reliable, long-lasting, low-mass, compact energy supply needed for advanced, future space missions. The exploration of the solar system and the space beyond requires the development of nuclear energy generators for supplying electricity to space-bases, spacecrafts, probes or satellites, as well as for propelling ships in long space missions. For propulsion, the MAUS nuclear reactor could be used to power electric ion drive engines. An ion engine is able to build up to very high velocities, far greater than chemical propulsion systems, but has high power and long service requirements. The MAUS concept is described, together with the ion propulsion engine and together with the reference thermoionic process used to convert the thermal power into electricity. The design work has been performed at the Nuclear Engineering and Energy Conversion Department of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" starting from 1992 on an issue submitted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with the research laboratories of ENEA.

  11. The MAUS nuclear space reactor with ion propulsion system

    Mainardi, Enrico [DINCE - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Nucleare e Conversioni Energetiche, University of Rome ' La Sapienza' , C.so V. Emanuele II, 244, 00186 Rome (Italy)]. E-mail: mainardi@frascati.enea.it

    2006-06-01

    MAUS (Moltiplicatore Avanzato Ultracompatto Spaziale) is a nuclear reactor concept design capable to ensure a reliable, long-lasting, low-mass, compact energy supply needed for advanced, future space missions. The exploration of the solar system and the space beyond requires the development of nuclear energy generators for supplying electricity to space-bases, spacecrafts, probes or satellites, as well as for propelling ships in long space missions. For propulsion, the MAUS nuclear reactor could be used to power electric ion drive engines. An ion engine is able to build up to very high velocities, far greater than chemical propulsion systems, but has high power and long service requirements. The MAUS concept is described, together with the ion propulsion engine and together with the reference thermoionic process used to convert the thermal power into electricity. The design work has been performed at the Nuclear Engineering and Energy Conversion Department of the University of Rome 'La Sapienza' starting from 1992 on an issue submitted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with the research laboratories of ENEA.

  12. The Maus nuclear space reactor with ion propulsion system

    Enrico Mainardi [DINCE - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Nucleare e Conversioni Energetiche, University of Rome ' La Sapienza' , C.so V. EmanueleII, 244, 00186 Roma (Italy)

    2006-07-01

    MAUS (Moltiplicatore Avanzato Ultracompatto Spaziale) is a nuclear reactor concept design capable to ensure a reliable, long lasting, low mass, compact energy supply needed for advanced, future space missions. The exploration of the solar system and the space beyond requires the development of nuclear energy generators for supplying electricity to space-bases, spacecrafts, probes or satellites, as well as for propelling ships in long space missions. For propulsion, the MAUS nuclear reactor could be used to power electric ion drive engines. An ion engine is able to build up to very high velocities, far greater than chemical propulsion systems, but has high power and long service requirements. The MAUS concept is described, together with the ion propulsion engine and together with the reference thermionic process used to convert the thermal power into electricity. The design work has been performed at the Nuclear Engineering and Energy Conversion Department of the University of Rome 'La Sapienza' starting from 1992 on an issue submitted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with the research laboratories of ENEA. (author)

  13. Safety Framework for Nuclear Power Source Applications in Outer Space

    Nuclear power sources (NPS) for use in outer space have been developed and used in space applications where unique mission requirements and constraints on electrical power and thermal management precluded the use of non-nuclear power sources. Such missions have included interplanetary missions to the outer limits of the Solar System, for which solar panels were not suitable as a source of electrical power because of the long duration of these missions at great distances from the Sun. According to current knowledge and capabilities, space NPS are the only viable energy option to power some space missions and significantly enhance others. Several ongoing and foreseeable missions would not be possible without the use of space NPS. Past, present and foreseeable space NPS applications include radioisotope power systems (for example, radioisotope thermoelectric generators and radioisotope heater units) and nuclear reactor systems for power and propulsion. The presence of radioactive materials or nuclear fuels in space NPS and their consequent potential for harm to people and the environment in Earth's biosphere due to an accident require that safety should always be an inherent part of the design and application of space NPS. NPS applications in outer space have unique safety considerations compared with terrestrial applications. Unlike many terrestrial nuclear applications, space applications tend to be used infrequently and their requirements can vary significantly depending upon the specific mission. Mission launch and outer space operational requirements impose size, mass and other space environment limitations not present for many terrestrial nuclear facilities. For some applications, space NPS must operate autonomously at great distances from Earth in harsh environments. Potential accident conditions resulting from launch failures and inadvertent re-entry could expose NPS to extreme physical conditions. These and other unique safety considerations for the use of

  14. Democritos: preparing demonstrators for high power nuclear electric space propulsion

    Masson, Frederic; RUAULT, Jean-Marc; Worms, Jean-Claude; Detsis, Emmanouil; Beaurain, André; Lassoudiere, Francois; Gaia, Enrico; Tosi, Maria -Christina; Jansen, Frank; Bauer, Waldemar; Semenkin, Alexander; Tinsley, Tim; Hodgson, Zara

    2015-01-01

    The Democritos project aims at preparing demonstrators for a megawatt class nuclearelectric space propulsion. It is funded by Horizon 2020, the R&T program of the European Community. It is a new European and Russian project, including as partners: Nuclear National Laboratory (U.K.), DLR (Germany), The Keldysh Research Center (Russia), Thales Alenia Space Italia (Italy), Snecma (France), ESF (France) and CNES (France). IEAV (Brazil) will join as an observer. Democritos is the follo...

  15. Current Development of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion technologies at the Center for Space Nuclear Research

    Robert C. O' Brien; Steven K. Cook; Nathan D. Jerred; Steven D. Howe; Ronald Samborsky; Daniel Brasuell

    2012-09-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion has been considered for space applications since the 1950s. Between 1955 and 1972 the US built and tested over twenty nuclear reactors / rocket engines in the Rover/NERVA programs1. The Aerojet Corporation was the prime contractor for the NERVA program. Modern changes in environmental laws present challenges for the redevelopment of the nuclear rocket. Recent advances in fuel fabrication and testing options indicate that a nuclear rocket with a fuel composition that is significantly different from those of the NERVA project can be engineered; this may be needed to ensure public support and compliance with safety requirements. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) is pursuing a number of technologies, modeling and testing processes to further the development of safe, practical and affordable nuclear thermal propulsion systems.

  16. Applicability of trends in nuclear safety analysis to space nuclear power systems

    A survey is presented of some current trends in nuclear safety analysis that may be relevant to space nuclear power systems. This includes: lessons learned from operating power reactor safety and licensing; approaches to the safety design of advanced and novel reactors and facilities; the roles of risk assessment, extremely unlikely accidents, safety goals/targets; and risk-benefit analysis and communication

  17. Disposal of high-level nuclear waste in space

    Coopersmith, Jonathan

    1992-08-01

    A solution of launching high-level nuclear waste into space is suggested. Disposal in space includes solidifying the wastes, embedding them in an explosion-proof vehicle, and launching it into earth orbit, and then into a solar orbit. The benefits of such a system include not only the safe disposal of high-level waste but also the establishment of an infrastructure for large-scale space exploration and development. Particular attention is given to the wide range of technical choices along with the societal, economic, and political factors needed for success.

  18. Impacts of nuclear power sources on space debris

    The paper presents some results of efforts dealing with computational analyses of probability of impact of nuclear power sources (NPS) on space debris (SD), destruction of the NPS structure on the impacts, change in orbital parameters as a result of the NPS impact and reentry. copyright 1997 American Institute of Physics

  19. Safety program considerations for space nuclear reactor systems

    This report discusses the necessity for in-depth safety program planning for space nuclear reactor systems. The objectives of the safety program and a proposed task structure is presented for meeting those objectives. A proposed working relationship between the design and independent safety groups is suggested. Examples of safety-related design philosophies are given

  20. Effects of Nuclear Interactions in Space Radiation Transport

    Lin, Zi-Wei; Barghouty, A. F.

    2005-01-01

    Space radiation transport codes have been developed to calculate radiation effects behind materials in human mission to the Moon, Mars or beyond. We study how nuclear fragmentation processes affect predictions from such radiation transport codes. In particular, we investigate the effects of fragmentation cross sections at different energies on fluxes, dose and dose-equivalent from galactic cosmic rays behind typical shielding materials.

  1. Safety program considerations for space nuclear reactor systems

    Cropp, L.O.

    1984-08-01

    This report discusses the necessity for in-depth safety program planning for space nuclear reactor systems. The objectives of the safety program and a proposed task structure is presented for meeting those objectives. A proposed working relationship between the design and independent safety groups is suggested. Examples of safety-related design philosophies are given.

  2. Key issues in space nuclear power challenges for the future

    The future appears rich in missions that will extend the frontiers of knowledge, human presence in space, and opportunities for profitable commerce. Key to success of these ventures is the availability of plentiful, cost effective electric power and assured, low cost access to space. While forecasts of space power needs are problematic, an assessment of future needs based on terrestrial experience has been made. These needs fall into three broad categories: survival, self sufficiency and industrialization. The cost of delivering payloads to orbital locations from LEO to Mars has been determined and future launch cost reductions projected. From these factors, then, projections of the performance necessary for future solar and nuclear space power options has been made. These goals are largely dependent upon orbital location and energy storage needs. Finally the cost of present space power systems has been determined and projections made for future systems

  3. Communicating with the public: space of nuclear technology

    For two decades the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN) has been developing activities for popularization of its R and D activities in the nuclear field. Some of the initiatives already undertaken by IPEN are lectures at schools, guided visits to IPEN facilities, printed informative material, FAQ page in the Web, and displays in annual meetings and technology fairs highlighting its achievements. In order to consolidate these initiatives, IPEN is planning to have a permanent Space of Nuclear Technology (SNT), aiming at introducing students, teachers and the general public to the current applications of nuclear technology in medicine, industry, research, electric power generation, etc. It is intended as an open room to the public and will have a permanent exhibit with historical, scientific, technical and cultural developments of nuclear technology and will also feature temporary exhibitions about specific themes. The space will display scientific material in different forms to allow conducting experiments to demonstrate some of the concepts associated with the properties of nuclear energy, hands-on programs and activities that can be customized to the students' grade level and curriculum. (author)

  4. Communicating with the public: space of nuclear technology

    Maffei, Patricia Martinez; Aquino, Afonso Rodrigues; Gordon, Ana Maria Pinho Leite; Oliveira, Rosana Lagua de; Padua, Rafael Vicente de; Vieira, Martha Marques Ferreira; Vicente, Roberto, E-mail: pmaffei@ipen.br, E-mail: araquino@usp.br, E-mail: amgordon@ipen.br, E-mail: rloliveira@ipen.br, E-mail: rpadua@ipen.br, E-mail: mmvieira@ipen.br, E-mail: rvicente@ipen.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2011-07-01

    For two decades the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN) has been developing activities for popularization of its R and D activities in the nuclear field. Some of the initiatives already undertaken by IPEN are lectures at schools, guided visits to IPEN facilities, printed informative material, FAQ page in the Web, and displays in annual meetings and technology fairs highlighting its achievements. In order to consolidate these initiatives, IPEN is planning to have a permanent Space of Nuclear Technology (SNT), aiming at introducing students, teachers and the general public to the current applications of nuclear technology in medicine, industry, research, electric power generation, etc. It is intended as an open room to the public and will have a permanent exhibit with historical, scientific, technical and cultural developments of nuclear technology and will also feature temporary exhibitions about specific themes. The space will display scientific material in different forms to allow conducting experiments to demonstrate some of the concepts associated with the properties of nuclear energy, hands-on programs and activities that can be customized to the students' grade level and curriculum. (author)

  5. Refractory alloy technology for space nuclear power applications

    Purpose of this symposium is twofold: (1) to review and document the status of refractory alloy technology for structural and fuel-cladding applications in space nuclear power systems, and (2) to identify and document the refractory alloy research and development needs for the SP-100 Program in both the short and the long term. In this symposium, an effort was made to recapture the space reactor refractory alloy technology that was cut off in midstream around 1973 when the national space nuclear reactor program began in the early 1960s, was terminated. The six technical areas covered in the program are compatibility, processing and production, welding and component fabrication, mechanical and physical properties, effects of irradiation, and machinability. The refractory alloys considered are niobium, molybdenum, tantalum, and tungsten. Thirteen of the 14 pages have been abstracted separately. The remaining paper summarizes key needs for further R and D on refractory alloys

  6. Refractory alloy technology for space nuclear power applications

    Cooper, R.H. Jr.; Hoffman, E.E. (eds.)

    1984-01-01

    Purpose of this symposium is twofold: (1) to review and document the status of refractory alloy technology for structural and fuel-cladding applications in space nuclear power systems, and (2) to identify and document the refractory alloy research and development needs for the SP-100 Program in both the short and the long term. In this symposium, an effort was made to recapture the space reactor refractory alloy technology that was cut off in midstream around 1973 when the national space nuclear reactor program began in the early 1960s, was terminated. The six technical areas covered in the program are compatibility, processing and production, welding and component fabrication, mechanical and physical properties, effects of irradiation, and machinability. The refractory alloys considered are niobium, molybdenum, tantalum, and tungsten. Thirteen of the 14 pages have been abstracted separately. The remaining paper summarizes key needs for further R and D on refractory alloys. (DLC)

  7. Nuclear Fragmentation Processes Relevant for Human Space Radiation Protection

    Lin, Zi-Wei

    2007-01-01

    Space radiation from cosmic ray particles is one of the main challenges for human space explorations such-as a moon base or a trip to Mars. Models have been developed in order to predict the radiation exposure to astronauts and to evaluate the effectiveness of different shielding materials, and a key ingredient in these models is the physics of nuclear fragmentations. We have developed a semi-analytical method to determine which partial cross sections of nuclear fragmentations most affect the radiation dose behind shielding materials due to exposure to galactic cosmic rays. The cross sections thus determined will require more theoretical and/or experimental studies in order for us to better predict, reduce and mitigate the radiation exposure in human space explorations.

  8. Preserving the nuclear option: The AIAA position paper on space nuclear power

    In response to published reports about the decline in funding for space nuclear power, the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) approved a position paper in March 1995 that recommends (1) development and support of an integrated space nuclear power program by DOE, NASA and DoD; (2) Congressional support for the program; (3) advocacy of the program by government and industry leaders; and (4) continuation of cooperation between the U.S. and other countries to advance nuclear power source technology and to promote safety. This position paper has been distributed to various people having oversight of the U.S. space nuclear power program. copyright 1996 American Institute of Physics

  9. Nuclear Thermal Rocket - An Established Space Propulsion Technology

    Klein, Milton

    2004-02-01

    From the late 1950s to the early 1970s a major program successfully developed the capability to conduct space exploration using the advanced technology of nuclear rocket propulsion. The program had two primary elements: pioneering and advanced technology work-Rover-at Los Alamos National Laboratory and its contractors provided the basic reactor design, fuel materials development, and reactor testing capability; and engine development-NERVA-by the industrial team of Aerojet and Westinghouse building on and extending the Los Alamos efforts to flight system development. This presentation describes the NERVA program, the engine system testing that demonstrated the space-practical operation capabilities of nuclear thermal rockets, and the mission studies that point the way to most effectively use the NTR capabilities. Together, the two programs established a technology base that includes proven NTR capabilities of (1) over twice the specific impulse of chemical propulsion systems, (2) thrust capabilities ranging from 44kN to 1112kN, and (3) practical thrust-to-weight ratios for future NASA space exploration missions, both manned payloads to Mars and unmanned payloads to the outer planets. The overall nuclear rocket program had a unique management structure that integrated the efforts of the two government agencies involved-NASA and the then-existing Atomic Energy Commission. The objective of this paper is to summarize and convey the technical and management lessons learned in this program as the nation considers the design of its future space exploration activities.

  10. Subcritical space nuclear system without most movable control systems

    This paper describes the design and analysis of advanced space nuclear reactor (ASNR) whose design combines the advantages of radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) and space nuclear reactor (SNR). As opposed to current SNRs designs, ASNR is a subcritical system driven by 232U–Be neutron source to generate thermal power continuously. Most movable control systems in the SNR design are removed. The detailed neutronic calculations by MCNPX (Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended), including keff, flux, burn-up, loss-ratio of neutron source and immersion reactivity, show that ASNR has higher criticality safety and more compact structure to bear the risk of immersion accident compared with the past SNRs, and the new system can provide more thermal power than RTG. Furthermore, the neutron source efficiency is optimized to improve the utilization of 232U–Be neutron source with the improvement of criticality safety. Compared with the past designs of space nuclear power, ASNR could provide enough thermal power and avoid the occurrence of serious immersion accident in the case of total control system failure. ASNR has potential for future deep space missions. (author)

  11. Nuclear model calculations and their role in space radiation research

    Townsend, L. W.; Cucinotta, F. A.; Heilbronn, L. H.

    2002-01-01

    Proper assessments of spacecraft shielding requirements and concomitant estimates of risk to spacecraft crews from energetic space radiation requires accurate, quantitative methods of characterizing the compositional changes in these radiation fields as they pass through thick absorbers. These quantitative methods are also needed for characterizing accelerator beams used in space radiobiology studies. Because of the impracticality/impossibility of measuring these altered radiation fields inside critical internal body organs of biological test specimens and humans, computational methods rather than direct measurements must be used. Since composition changes in the fields arise from nuclear interaction processes (elastic, inelastic and breakup), knowledge of the appropriate cross sections and spectra must be available. Experiments alone cannot provide the necessary cross section and secondary particle (neutron and charged particle) spectral data because of the large number of nuclear species and wide range of energies involved in space radiation research. Hence, nuclear models are needed. In this paper current methods of predicting total and absorption cross sections and secondary particle (neutrons and ions) yields and spectra for space radiation protection analyses are reviewed. Model shortcomings are discussed and future needs presented. c2002 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All right reserved.

  12. Multimegawatt space nuclear power supply, Phase 1 Final report

    1989-02-17

    This Specification establishes the performance, design, development, and test requirements for the Boeing Multimegawatt Space Nuclear Power System (MSNPS). The Boeing Multimegawatt Space Power System is part of the DOE/SDIO Multimegawatt Space Nuclear Power Program. The purpose of this program is to provide a space-based nuclear power system to meet the needs of SDIO missions. The Boeing MSNPS is a category 1 concept which is capable of delivering 10's of MW(e) for 100's of seconds with effluent permitted. A design goal is for the system to have growth or downscale capability for other power system concepts. The growth objective is to meet the category 3 capability of 100's of MW(e) for 100's of seconds, also with effluent permitted. The purpose of this preliminary document is to guide the conceptual design effort throughout the Phase 1 study effort. This document will be updated through out the study. It will thus result in a record of the development of the design effort.

  13. Applications of nuclear-powered thermoelectric generators in space

    The source of electrical power which enables information to be transmitted from the space crafts Voyager 1 and 2 back to Earth after a time period of more than a decade and at a distance of more than a billion miles is known as an RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator). It utilises the Seebeck effect in producing electricity from heat. In essence it consists of a large number of semiconductor thermocouples connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel. A temperature difference is maintained across the thermocouples by providing a heat source, which in the case of an RTG is a radioactive isotope, and the heat sink is space. The combination of an energy-conversion system, free of moving parts and a long-life, high energy-density heat source, provides a supply of electrical power typically in the range of tens to hundred of watts and which operates reliably over extended periods of time. An electric power source, based upon thermoelectric conversion by which utilises a nuclear reactor as a heat source, has also been deployed in space and a 100-kW system is being developed to provide electrical power to a variety of commercial and military projects including SDI. Developments in thermoelectrics that have taken place in the western world during the past 30 years are primarily due to United States interest and involvement in the exploration of space. This paper reviews US applications of nuclear-powered thermoelectric generators in space. (author)

  14. A Review of Tribomaterial Technology for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    Stanford, Malcolm K.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently proposed a nuclear closed-cycle electric power conversion system for generation of 100-kW of electrical power for space exploration missions. A critical issue is the tribological performance of sliding components within the power conversion unit that will be exposed to neutron radiation. This paper presents a review of the main considerations that have been made in the selection of solid lubricants for similar applications in the past as well as a recommendations for continuing development of the technology.

  15. Refractory metal-matrix composites for space nuclear power applications

    Space nuclear power systems for SDI will require materials that have excellent high specific strength and creep resistance at high temperature, are compatible with space environmental conditions, and the heat transfer fluids of power conversion systems, and stable at high neutron fluence in extended operation. The development of composite components composed of continuous high strength tungsten alloy filaments in a ductile refractory metal alloy matrix is a logical next step in the progression of high temperature structural materials to meet these requirements. The basis for this technology advance is the extraordinary high temperature strength and recrystallization resistance of a class of tungsten alloys containing small quantities of hafnium carbide

  16. Nuclear Waste Disposal in Space: BEP's Best Hope?

    Coopersmith, Jonathan

    2006-05-01

    The best technology is worthless if it cannot find a market Beam energy propulsion (BEP) is a very promising technology, but faces major competition from less capable but fully developed conventional rockets. Rockets can easily handle projected markets for payloads into space. Without a new, huge demand for launch capability, BEP is unlikely to gain the resources it needs for development and application. Launching tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste into space for safe and permanent disposal will provide that necessary demand while solving a major problem on earth. Several options exist to dispose of nuclear waste, including solar orbit, lunar orbit, soft lunar landing, launching outside the solar system, and launching into the sun.

  17. Nuclear pairing within a configuration-space Monte Carlo approach

    Lingle, Mark; Volya, Alexander

    2015-06-01

    Pairing correlations in nuclei play a decisive role in determining nuclear drip lines, binding energies, and many collective properties. In this work a new configuration-space Monte Carlo (CSMC) method for treating nuclear pairing correlations is developed, implemented, and demonstrated. In CSMC the Hamiltonian matrix is stochastically generated in Krylov subspace, resulting in the Monte Carlo version of Lanczos-like diagonalization. The advantages of this approach over other techniques are discussed; the absence of the fermionic sign problem, probabilistic interpretation of quantum-mechanical amplitudes, and ability to handle truly large-scale problems with defined precision and error control are noteworthy merits of CSMC. The features of our CSMC approach are shown using models and realistic examples. Special attention is given to difficult limits: situations with nonconstant pairing strengths, cases with nearly degenerate excited states, limits when pairing correlations in finite systems are weak, and problems when the relevant configuration space is large.

  18. Molybdenum-rhenium alloy development for space nuclear power applications

    Refractory metals and refractory metal alloys are essential to the development of advanced nuclear reactor systems for space power applications because of the anticipated high operating temperatures of these systems. The refractory metals and alloys based on niobium, molybdenum, tantalum and tungsten are being considered for use in these systems because of their high temperature capabilities and compatibility with alkali metals. Molybdenum-base alloys offer many advantages in these systems, but their brittleness at low temperatures serves as a major deterrent to their use. Molybdenum-rhenium alloys with 11-13 wt% rhenium have been found to possess good low temperature ductility that results from the solution softening process in this alloy system. The development of solution softened molybdenum-rhenium alloys for use in space nuclear power applications is in progress at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and this paper presents a review and update of this work

  19. Nuclear Waste Disposal in Space: BEP's Best Hope?

    The best technology is worthless if it cannot find a market Beam energy propulsion (BEP) is a very promising technology, but faces major competition from less capable but fully developed conventional rockets. Rockets can easily handle projected markets for payloads into space. Without a new, huge demand for launch capability, BEP is unlikely to gain the resources it needs for development and application. Launching tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste into space for safe and permanent disposal will provide that necessary demand while solving a major problem on earth. Several options exist to dispose of nuclear waste, including solar orbit, lunar orbit, soft lunar landing, launching outside the solar system, and launching into the sun

  20. The role of integral experiments and nuclear cross section evaluations in space nuclear reactor design

    The importance of the nuclear and neutronic properties of candidate space reactor materials to the design process has been acknowledged as has been the use of benchmark reactor physics experiments to verify and qualify analytical tools used in design, safety, and performance evaluation. Since June 1966, the Cross Section Evaluation Working Group (CSEWG) has acted as an interagency forum for the assessment and evaluation of nuclear reaction data used in the nuclear design process. CSEWG data testing has involved the specification and calculation of benchmark experiments which are used widely for commercial reactor design and safety analysis. These benchmark experiments preceded the issuance oflthe industry standards for acceptance, but the benchmarks exceed the minimum acceptance criteria for such data. Thus, a starting place has been provided in assuring the accuracy and uncertainty of nuclear data important to space reactor applications. (FI)

  1. Spacing grid for a nuclear fuel sub-assembly

    The description is given of a fuel pin spacing grid for a nuclear fuel sub-assembly. The grid includes several strips shaped to form a hexagonal honeycomb cell assembly. The cells are of one piece construction, each cell being formed from an individual strip. Every other side of the cell has an opening, the other sides being continuous. Each continuous side includes a shaped part acting as guide for a fuel pin

  2. Lightweight Radiator for in Space Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    Craven, Paul; Tomboulian, Briana; SanSoucie, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is a promising option for high-speed in-space travel due to the high energy density of nuclear fission power sources and efficient electric thrusters. Advanced power conversion technologies may require high operating temperatures and would benefit from lightweight radiator materials. Radiator performance dictates power output for nuclear electric propulsion systems. Game-changing propulsion systems are often enabled by novel designs using advanced materials. Pitch-based carbon fiber materials have the potential to offer significant improvements in operating temperature, thermal conductivity, and mass. These properties combine to allow advances in operational efficiency and high temperature feasibility. An effort at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to show that woven high thermal conductivity carbon fiber mats can be used to replace standard metal and composite radiator fins to dissipate waste heat from NEP systems is ongoing. The goals of this effort are to demonstrate a proof of concept, to show that a significant improvement of specific power (power/mass) can be achieved, and to develop a thermal model with predictive capabilities making use of constrained input parameter space. A description of this effort is presented.

  3. Nuclear safety policy working group recommendations on nuclear propulsion safety for the space exploration initiative

    Marshall, Albert C.; Lee, James H.; Mcculloch, William H.; Sawyer, J. Charles, Jr.; Bari, Robert A.; Cullingford, Hatice S.; Hardy, Alva C.; Niederauer, George F.; Remp, Kerry; Rice, John W.

    1993-01-01

    An interagency Nuclear Safety Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) nuclear propulsion program. These recommendations, which are contained in this report, should facilitate the implementation of mission planning and conceptual design studies. The NSPWG has recommended a top-level policy to provide the guiding principles for the development and implementation of the SEI nuclear propulsion safety program. In addition, the NSPWG has reviewed safety issues for nuclear propulsion and recommended top-level safety requirements and guidelines to address these issues. These recommendations should be useful for the development of the program's top-level requirements for safety functions (referred to as Safety Functional Requirements). The safety requirements and guidelines address the following topics: reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, safeguards, risk/reliability, operational safety, ground testing, and other considerations.

  4. Review of Nuclear Physics Experiments for Space Radiation

    Norbury, John W.; Miller, Jack; Adamczyk, Anne M.; Heilbronn, Lawrence H.; Townsend, Lawrence W.; Blattnig, Steve R.; Norman, Ryan B.; Guetersloh, Stephen B.; Zeitlin, Cary J.

    2011-01-01

    Human space flight requires protecting astronauts from the harmful effects of space radiation. The availability of measured nuclear cross section data needed for these studies is reviewed in the present paper. The energy range of interest for radiation protection is approximately 100 MeV/n to 10 GeV/n. The majority of data are for projectile fragmentation partial and total cross sections, including both charge changing and isotopic cross sections. The cross section data are organized into categories which include charge changing, elemental, isotopic for total, single and double differential with respect to momentum, energy and angle. Gaps in the data relevant to space radiation protection are discussed and recommendations for future experiments are made.

  5. Overview of materials technologies for space nuclear power and propulsion

    Zinkle, S. J.; Ott, L. J.; Ingersoll, D. T.; Ellis, R. J.; Grossbeck, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    A wide range of different space nuclear systems are currently being evaluated as part of the DOE Special Purpose Fission Technology program. The near-term subset of systems scheduled to be evaluated range from 50 kWe gas-, pumped liquid metal-, or liquid metal heat pipe-cooled reactors for space propulsion to 3 kWe heat pipe or pumped liquid metal systems for Mars surface power applications. The current status of the materials technologies required for the successful development of near-term space nuclear power and propulsion systems is reviewed. Materials examined in this overview include fuels (UN, UO2, UZrH), cladding and structural materials (stainless steel, superalloys, refractory alloys), neutron reflector materials (Be, BeO), and neutron shield materials (B4C,LiH). The materials technologies issues are considerably less demanding for the 3 kWe reactor systems due to lower operating temperatures, lower fuel burnup, and lower radiation damage levels. A few reactor subcomponents in the 3 kWe reactors under evaluation are being used near or above their engineering limits, which may adversely affect the 5 to 10 year lifetime design goal. It appears that most of these issues for the 3 kWe reactor systems can be accommodated by incorporating a few engineering design changes. Design limits (temperature, burnup, stress, radiation levels) for the various materials proposed for space nuclear reactors will be summarized. For example, the temperature and stress limits for Type 316 stainless steel in the 3 kWe Na-cooled heat pipe reactor (Stirling engine) concept will be controlled by thermal creep and CO2 corrosion considerations rather than radiation damage issues. Conversely, the lower operating temperature limit for the LiH shield material will likely be defined by ionizing radiation damage (radiolysis)-induced swelling, even for the relatively low radiation doses associated with the 3 kWe reactor. .

  6. Nuclear safety, legal aspects and policy recommendations for space nuclear power and propulsion systems

    Lenard, Roger X.

    2006-07-01

    This paper represents a chapter of the International Astronautical Academy's Cosmic Study on safety, legal and policy aspects of advanced (specifically nuclear) power and propulsions systems; it is divided into several sections. The first section covers a series of findings and develops a set of recommendations for operations of space reactor systems in a safe, environmentally compliant fashion. The second section develops a generic set of hazard scenarios that might be experienced by a space nuclear system with emphasis on different methods under which such a system could be engaged, such as surface power, in-space nuclear electric or nuclear thermal propulsion. The third section develops these into test and analysis efforts that would likely be conducted. Risk areas with engineering judgment set toward frequency and consequences. The fourth section identifies what probable technology limits might be experienced by nuclear propulsion systems and the exploration limitations these technology restrictions might impose. Where the IAA recommends a change, the IAA leadership should be prepared to work with national and international bodies to implement the desired modifications.

  7. Fuels for space nuclear power systems. 1. Tri-Carbide Nuclear Fuel Processing and Characterization for Space Nuclear Applications

    Tri-carbide fuels fabricated from uranium and refractory metal carbides have been proposed for advanced nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) applications. These fuels are particularly desirable for space nuclear applications because of their high melting points and high thermal conductivity and their thermochemical stability with the flowing hot hydrogen propellant. This study examined the processing methods for fabricating low-porosity, single-phase solid-solution tri-carbides of (U, Zr,Nb)C. Binary carbides of (U, Zr)C for NTP were first studied at the end of the Rover/NERVA program, a joint effort between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Atomic Energy Commission from 1955 to 1973. This advanced fuel was proposed to reduce the mass losses experienced by earlier graphite matrix and composite fuels due to corrosion by the flowing hot hydrogen propellant. However, insufficient tests were completed before the program was canceled in 1973. Results of this study revealed the difficulty to extrude this very hard material in the desired geometry for NTP applications and a susceptibility to fracture during operation. Preliminary indication of higher melting points and improvements in thermochemical stability led to work on tri-carbides of (U, Zr,Nb)C and (U, Zr, Ta)C in the former Soviet Union. A joint effort with the Russian research institute LUTCH and INSPI from 1993 to 1997 studied the mass losses from these fuels, which were extruded in a simple, twisted-ribbon geometry compatible with Russian core designs. The melting temperature of the tri-carbides is influenced by the carbon-to-metal ratio (C/M) and the uranium metal mole fraction (U/M).A target C/M of 0.88 to 0.95 was maintained during the Rover/NERVA program to avoid the development of a second phase, carbon, which leads to significantly lower, eutectic, melting temperatures. Recent efforts at INSPI have been directed toward optimizing the processing methods and parameters for

  8. RADCONTAB 1.0: a look-up tables tool for radiological assessment of contaminated land on Nuclear Licensed sites

    This note describes a simple electronic spreadsheet 'look-up tables' tool (RADCONTAB version 1.0), developed by British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) to facilitate the radiological assessment of land affected by existing 'historic' radioactive contamination on UK Nuclear Licensed sites. The specification and design of the tool have been subject to open consultation and peer review. The tool with accompanying guide is now freely available on the internet. (note)

  9. Nuclear fragmentation measurements for hadrontherapy and space radiation protection

    De Napoli, M. [INFN - Sezione di Catania (Italy); Agodi, C.; Blancato, A. A.; Cavallaro, M.; Cirrone, G. A. P.; Cuttone, G.; Sardina, D.; Scuderi, V. [INFN - Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (Italy); Battistoni, G. [INFN - Sezione di Milano (Italy); Bondi, M.; Cappuzzello, F.; Carbone, D.; Nicolosi, D.; Raciti, G.; Tropea, S. [INFN - Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Italy and Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Universita degli Studi di Catania (Italy); Giacoppo, F. [Department of Physics, University of Oslo (Norway); Morone, M. C. [Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Diagnostica per Immagini, Universita di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy); Pandola, L. [INFN-Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (Italy); Rapisarda, E. [Nuclear and Radiation Physics Section, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Celestijnenlaan Heverlee (Belgium); Romano, F. [INFN - Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (Italy) and Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche E. Fermi Roma (Italy); and others

    2013-04-19

    Nuclear fragmentation measurements are necessary in hadrontherapy and space radiation protection, to predict the effects of the ion nuclear interactions within the human body. Nowadays, a very limited set of carbon fragmentation cross sections has been measured and in particular, to our knowledge, no double differential fragmentation cross sections at intermediate energies are available in literature. We have measured the double differential cross sections and the angular distributions of the secondary fragments produced in the {sup 12}C fragmentation at 62 AMeV on a thin carbon target. The experimental data have been also used to benchmark the prediction capability of the Geant4 Monte Carlo code at intermediate energies, where it was never tested before.

  10. Development of NERVA reactor for space nuclear propulsion

    The general technology development and demonstration of a Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA), a joint AEC-NASA program, was undertaken successfully in the 1960's and terminated in 1971 for lack of a specific mission. Detailed flight engine specifications were defined and several candidate designs which would satisfy these specifications were completed just prior to termination of these efforts. However, the technology interest continued and efforts were extended during the early 1970's to consider space power applications including a manned Mars mission and dual mode (propulsion power and electrical power) operation. Subsequent efforts have continued in developing electric power applications. Light-weight solid core reactor nuclear power sources have been conceptually studied based upon this technology. This paper provides a short summary of the technology that evolved in this very complex and frequently changing program with some specific references to the Mars mission propulsion application as it evolved from the NERVA development program

  11. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Nuclear Element Tests at Sandia National Laboratories

    Nuclear Element Tests (NET) are being performed as part of the U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program to evaluate high performance fuel elements intended for use in future nuclear propulsion systems. The NET experiments are to be performed at the Sandia National Laboratories (SNL's) Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR). Objectives of these experiments are to provide engineering validation and demonstration of critical-fuel-element-related technologies and an experimental data base to support analytical design methods for the SNTP Program. Currently, hardware for the first two fueled NET experiments has been fabricated, and cold flow tests have been accomplished with a representative set of hardware to assure the experimental capability to achieve test objectives in-reactor. Assembly of the first NET experiment to test a representative nuclear fuel element is in progress, and planned operational sequences have been defined

  12. Space nuclear reactor SP-100 thermal-hydraulic simulation

    Since 1983 it has been under development in the USA the project SP-100 of space nuclear reactors for electric generation in a range of 100 to 1000 KWe. In this project the heat is generated at the core of a fast compact liquid lithium refrigerated reactor. Thermoelectric converters produce direct current electric energy and the primary and secondary loops flow is controlled by electromagnetic thermoelectric pumps (EMTE). In this work it is studied a system with a fast nuclear reactor, with similar characteristics to the SP-100, aiming at generating high electric power in space for a future application on the TERRA (Advanced Fast Reactor Technology) Project of IEAv (Institute for Advanced Studies). It will be presented the working principles, basic structure and operation characteristics of an electromagnetic thermoelectric pump (EMTE) for a liquid metal cooled nuclear reactor refrigeration loops flow control. In order to determine the operating point of the reactor, it is indispensable the simulation of the EMTE pump along with the other components of the system, once all the working parameters are connected. So, it has been developed a computer system, named BEMTE-3 (a FORTRAN micro-computer code), which simulates the primary and secondary refrigeration components of liquid metal cooled fast space reactor. This computer code also simulates the thermoelectric conversion, with the flow being controlled by the EMTE pump with thermoelectric converters, determining the system operation point for a given nominal operating power. The BEMTE-3 is used for the study of the SP-100 primary and secondary loops thermal-hydraulic simulation and for the calculation of the operating point of the system based on data from available projects. (author)

  13. Probabilistic assessment of space nuclear propulsion system nozzle

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Ball, Richard D.; Chamis, Christos C.

    1994-01-01

    In assessing the reliability of a space nuclear propulsion system (SNPS) nozzle, uncertainties associated with the following design parameters were considered: geometry, boundary conditions, material behavior, and thermal and pressure loads. A preliminary assessment of the reliability was performed using NESSUS (Numerical Evaluation of Stochastic Structures Under Stress), a finite-element computer code developed at the NASA Lewis Research Center. The sensitivity of the nozzle reliability to the uncertainties in the random variables was quantified. With respect to the effective stress, preliminary results showed that the nozzle spatial geometry uncertainties have the most significant effect at low probabilities whereas the inner wall temperature has the most significant effect at higher probabilities.

  14. Thermo-magnetic systems for space nuclear reactors an introduction

    Maidana, Carlos O

    2014-01-01

    Introduces the reader to engineering magnetohydrodynamics applications and presents a comprehensive guide of how to approach different problems found in this multidisciplinary field. An introduction to engineering magnetohydrodynamics, this brief focuses heavily on the design of thermo-magnetic systems for liquid metals, with emphasis on the design of electromagnetic annular linear induction pumps for space nuclear reactors. Alloy systems that are liquid at room temperature have a high degree of thermal conductivity far superior to ordinary non-metallic liquids. This results in their use for

  15. Static and dynamic high power, space nuclear electric generating systems

    Space nuclear electric generating systems concepts have been assessed for their potential in satisfying future spacecraft high power (several megawatt) requirements. Conceptual designs have been prepared for reactor power systems using the most promising static (thermionic) and the most promising dynamic conversion processes. Component and system layouts, along with system mass and envelope requirements have been made. Key development problems have been identified and the impact of the conversion process selection upon thermal management and upon system and vehicle configuration is addressed. 10 references

  16. Space Agriculture for Recovery of Fukushima from the Nuclear Disaster

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Hasegawa, Katsuya; Kanazawa, Shinjiro; Oshima, Tairo

    2012-07-01

    Space agriculture is an engineering challenge to realize life support functions on distant planetary bodies under their harsh environment. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, its land was heavily contaminated by radioactive cesium and other nuclei. We proposed the use of space agriculture to remediate the contaminated land. Since materials circulation in the human dominant system should remove sodium from metabolic waste at processing fertilizer for crop plants, handling of sodium and potassium ions in agro-ecosystem has been one of major research targets of space agriculture. Cesium resembles to potassium as alkaline metal. Knowledge on behavior of sodium/potassium in agro-ecosystem might contribute to Fukushima. Reduction of volume of contaminated biomass made by hyperthermophilic aerobic composting bacterial system is another proposal from space agriculture. Volume and mass of plant bodies should be reduced for safe storage of nuclear wastes. Capacity of the storage facility will be definitely limited against huge amount of contaminated soil, plants and others. For this purpose, incineration of biomass first choice. The process should be under the lowered combustion temperature and with filters to confine radioactive ash to prevent dispersion of radioactive cesium. Biological combustion made by hyperthermophilic aerobic composting bacterial system might offer safe alternative for the volume reduction of plant biomass. Scientific evidence are demanded for Fukushima in order to to judge health risks of the low dose rate exposure and their biological mechanism. Biology and medicine for low dose rate exposure have been intensively studied for space exploration. The criteria of radiation exposure for general public should be remained as 1 mSv/year, because people has no merit at being exposed. However, the criteria of 1,200 mSv for life long, which is set to male astronaut, age of his first flight after age 40, might be informative to people for understanding

  17. Creep properties of refractory alloys for space nuclear power applications

    To satisfy power, mass, and volume requirements, space nuclear power systems are designed with refractory alloys for fuel cladding and reactor structures. This paper presents analysis of existing and new creep data for the refractory alloys that are candidates for fuel cladding or reactor structural applications for space power reactors. Analysis includes use of empirical parameters such as Larson-Miller, Dorn, Orr-Sherby-Dorn, and Manson-Haferd to predict long-term creep properties with data from relatively short-term tests. References curves for stress to produce 1% creep strain in 7 years versus these parameters are presented for Nb-1% Zr, PWC-11, Mo-11 and 14% Re, T-111, ASTAR-811C, CVD-W, W-5% Re, and W-25% Re

  18. CVD refractory metals and alloys for space nuclear power application

    CVD technology has made significant contributions to the development of space nuclear power systems during the period 1962 to 1972. For the in-core thermionic concept, CVD technology is essential to the fabrication of the tungsten electron emitter. For the liquid metal cooled fuel pin using uranium nitride as fuel and T-111 and Nb-1 Zr as cladding, a tungsten barrier possibly produced by CVD methods is essential to the fuel-cladding compatibility at the designed operating temperature. Space power reactors may use heat pipes to transfer heat from the reactor core to the conversion system. CVD technology has been used for fabricating the heat pipe used as cross-flow heat exchanger, including the built-in channels on the condenser wall for liquid lithium return. 28 references, 17 figures

  19. An Approach to Autonomous Control for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    Wood, Richard Thomas [ORNL; Upadhyaya, Belle R. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)

    2011-01-01

    Under Project Prometheus, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) investigated deep space missions that would utilize space nuclear power systems (SNPSs) to provide energy for propulsion and spacecraft power. The initial study involved the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), which was proposed to conduct in-depth studies of three Jovian moons. Current radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) and solar power systems cannot meet expected mission power demands, which include propulsion, scientific instrument packages, and communications. Historically, RTGs have provided long-lived, highly reliable, low-power-level systems. Solar power systems can provide much greater levels of power, but power density levels decrease dramatically at {approx} 1.5 astronomical units (AU) and beyond. Alternatively, an SNPS can supply high-sustained power for space applications that is both reliable and mass efficient. Terrestrial nuclear reactors employ varying degrees of human control and decision-making for operations and benefit from periodic human interaction for maintenance. In contrast, the control system of an SNPS must be able to provide continuous operatio for the mission duration with limited immediate human interaction and no opportunity for hardware maintenance or sensor calibration. In effect, the SNPS control system must be able to independently operate the power plant while maintaining power production even when subject to off-normal events and component failure. This capability is critical because it will not be possible to rely upon continuous, immediate human interaction for control due to communications delays and periods of planetary occlusion. In addition, uncertainties, rare events, and component degradation combine with the aforementioned inaccessibility and unattended operation to pose unique challenges that an SNPS control system must accommodate. Autonomous control is needed to address these challenges and optimize the reactor control design.

  20. Combined-Brayton cycle, space nuclear power systems

    Because it is a widely recognized dynamic space conversion system, the Brayton cycle has been studied in France since several years, especially within the framework of a limited space program. A recuperated cycle of 20 to 30 kWe has been considered so far. However, possible applications could evolve and the need for an extended, diversified utilization of the Brayton cycle could appear. So, for Lunar or Mars bases which would accept large radiators and can benefit from a certain gravity level, combined cycle systems could be proposed. Following a reference to past works on space combined cycles, a possible association of a Brayton cycle with a thermoionic reactor is presented. The power level of a 'Topaz-2' type space nuclear system can be boosted from 8 kWe to around 36 to 53 kWe, at the expense of a large radiator of course. Furthermore, combined Brayton-Rankine, organic (toluene) or steam, cycles can pave the way to a simpler gas-cooled, particle bed reactor concept. A particular arrangement of HeXe heater and boiler or steam generator in series is proposed. It makes it possible to lower the reactor inlet temperature, which is quite adequate for the use of light water as moderator. Oustanding net efficiencies of 25.8 to 27.6 per cent, given the reactor temperature profile, are obtained. Consequences on the reactor design are mentioned

  1. Neutronic data in support of space nuclear propulsion

    Mughabghab, S.; Schmidt, E.; Ludewig, H.

    1997-07-01

    The thermophysical properties of lithium hydride ({sup 7}LiH), particularly small density (0.775 gm/cc), high melting point (688 C) and relatively high hydrogen atomic number density makes it an attractive material for use as a neutron moderator and shield (for LiH) in space nuclear thermal propulsion. However, the unavailability of neutronic cross section data in the thermal energy range for {sup 7}LiH in the ENDF/B library necessitated the generation of the relevant data which is required in criticality studies and for the determination of temperature-dependent feedback coefficients in the moderator and fuel regions. Here, the scattering kernel data for {sup 7}LiH have been generated for the first time in the temperature range 50--1,000 K. This is based on a phonon distribution function derived from both experimental data and theoretical calculations. A detailed study of the variation of the moderator temperature coefficient {alpha}{sub m}(T) with temperature, T, is carried out for a typical space nuclear reactor of the particle bed type. It is established that the moderator temperature coefficient is proportional to T{sup {minus}1.65} where T is the moderator temperature in Kelvin units.

  2. Technology development for nuclear power generation for space application

    For a few years now, the TERRA project is developing several technology pieces to foster nuclear space applications. In this way, a nuclear reactor concept has been developed as a first proposal. Together, the problem of heat to electricity conversion has been addressed. A closed Brayton cycle is being built and a Stirling machine is being worked out and perfected. In addition, two types of heat pipes are being look at. One related with high temperature made of Mo13Re, an especial alloy. And a second one made of copper, which mainly could be used as a passive heat rejection. In this way, all major areas of interest in a micro station to be used in space has been addressed. A new passive technology has been inferred and is related with Tesla turbine or its evolution, known as multi fluid passive turbine. This technology has the potential to either: improve the Brayton cycle or its efficiency. In this paper, some details are discussed and some will be shown during the presentation, as the work evolve. (author)

  3. Technology development for nuclear power generation for space application

    Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Ribeiro, Guilherme B.; Braz Filho, Francisco A.; Nascimento, Jamil A.; Placco, Guilherme M., E-mail: guimarae@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: lamartine.guimaraes@pq.cnpq.br [Instituto de Estudos Avancados (IEAv), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil). Divisao de Energia Nuclear; Faria, Saulo M. de [Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica (ITA), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil)

    2015-07-01

    For a few years now, the TERRA project is developing several technology pieces to foster nuclear space applications. In this way, a nuclear reactor concept has been developed as a first proposal. Together, the problem of heat to electricity conversion has been addressed. A closed Brayton cycle is being built and a Stirling machine is being worked out and perfected. In addition, two types of heat pipes are being look at. One related with high temperature made of Mo13Re, an especial alloy. And a second one made of copper, which mainly could be used as a passive heat rejection. In this way, all major areas of interest in a micro station to be used in space has been addressed. A new passive technology has been inferred and is related with Tesla turbine or its evolution, known as multi fluid passive turbine. This technology has the potential to either: improve the Brayton cycle or its efficiency. In this paper, some details are discussed and some will be shown during the presentation, as the work evolve. (author)

  4. Power conversion for a microreactor: a nuclear space application

    Generating nuclear power in space is of fundamental importance if it is desired to realize some aggressive type of exploration. Basically, at Earth orbit (either LEO or GEO) most applications tend to use solar panels, which are just fine, in spite of problems such as vibration, non optimal light incidence angle and non electricity generation due to Earth's shadow. For deep space exploration the nuclear power is been considered as a strong candidate and maybe the only one. The Institute for Advanced Studies is conducting the TERRA project that tracks the developments in the area and, also, intends to develop the key technologies that will allow such a machine to be build with indigenous technology. TERRA stands for TEcnologia de Reatores Rapidos Avancados. This project, at its first stage aims at the specification of the microreactor fuel element with its possible geometrical arrangements. Also for this stage a gas Brayton closed cycle is being considered as a heat conversion to electricity and/or propulsion effect. The basic idea is to adapt an open loop aeronautic gas turbine to operate as a closed loop gas Turbine. This arrangement will use heat pipes as a cold source, or a heat rejection passive system. Up to this point a lot has been done in terms of numerical and graphical development. It is expected that some built up will be happening during this year. An account of this work will be presented at the conference. (author)

  5. Potential civil mission applications for space nuclear power systems

    The modest energy needs of spacecraft over the last twenty-five years have been met by photovoltaic arrays with batteries, primary fuel cells, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG). Although these energy sources have been adequate in the past, the next generation of space missions will place requirements on energy systems that might be difficult to satisfy with these currently utilized technologies. The extent of future space exploration could very well be limited by the cost and difficulty of supplying energy to the spacecraft unless advanced technologies are developed. A number of applications studies have emphasized the need for a lighter, cheaper, and more compact high-energy source than the scaling up of current technologies would permit (Angelo and Buden 1981). A nuclear reactor power system has the potential of satisfying these requirements. The joint NASA/DOD/DOE SP-100 program has been initiated to explore and evaluate this option and to develop critical elements of the technology. The major thrust of the program at the outset is aimed at space reactor systems of the 100 kW class

  6. Overview of CNES-CEA joint program on space nuclear Brayton systems

    In this paper French studies on 20-kWe space nuclear power systems are presented. The gas-cooled reactor nuclear systems, some investigations on advanced thermal neutron spectrum systems, a support work on materials, parameters optimization and operating transient analysis, and Brayton cycle-thermoelectric and nuclear-non nuclear systems comparisons

  7. Shielding considerations for advanced space nuclear reactor systems

    To meet the anticipated future space power needs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing components for a compact, 100 kW/sub e/-class heat pipe nuclear reactor. The reactor uses uranium dioxide (UO2) as its fuel, and is designed to operate around 1500 k. Heat pipes are used to remove thermal energy from the core without the use of pumps or compressors. The reactor heat pipes transfer mal energy to thermoelectric conversion elements that are advanced versions of the converters used on the enormously successful Voyager missions to the outer planets. Advanced versions of this heat pipe reactor could also be used to provide megawatt-level power plants. The paper reviews the status of this advanced heat pipe reactor and explores the radiation environments and shielding requirements for representative manned and unmanned applications

  8. Cyclic gaseous core reactors for space nuclear power applications

    Extensive theoretical-experimental investigations have been performed at the University of Florida on cyclic gaseous core reactors. Neutronics-energetics analyses have led to a basic scientific understanding of the behavior associated with conceptual operation of these devices. Thermal-physical properties studies have resulted in the identification of desirable working fluids and UF6-materials interaction studies have identified a number of potential problems as well as corresponding potential solutions. The results of these research efforts indicate that the cyclic gaseous core reactor is a versatile and promising nuclear energy concept that has attractive features for space power generation. These include low critical mass, high fuel utilization, high output temperature and good thermal efficiency, wide operating ranges, excellent control and safety characteristics, and adaptability to a wide variety of different energy conversion systems

  9. Nuclear electric propulsion for future NASA space science missions

    Yen, Chen-wan L.

    1993-07-20

    This study has been made to assess the needs, potential benefits and the applicability of early (circa year 2000) Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology in conducting NASA science missions. The study goals are: to obtain the performance characteristics of near term NEP technologies; to measure the performance potential of NEP for important OSSA missions; to compare NEP performance with that of conventional chemical propulsion; to identify key NEP system requirements; to clarify and depict the degree of importance NEP might have in advancing NASA space science goals; and to disseminate the results in a format useful to both NEP users and technology developers. This is a mission performance study and precludes investigations of multitudes of new mission operation and systems design issues attendant in a NEP flight.

  10. A Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor for Space Flights

    A small-scale nuclear fusion reactor is suggested based on the concepts of plasma confinement (with a high pressure gas) which have been patented by the author. The reactor considered can be used as a power setup in space flights. Among the advantages of this reactor is the use of a D3He fuel mixture which at burning gives main reactor products -- charged particles. The energy balance considerably improves, as synchrotron radiation turn out 'captured' in the plasma volume, and dangerous, in the case of classical magnetic confinement, instabilities in the direct current magnetic field configuration proposed do not exist. As a result, the reactor sizes are quite suitable (of the order of several meters). A possibility of making reactive thrust due to employment of ejection of multiply charged ions formed at injection of pellets from some adequate substance into the hot plasma center is considered

  11. Liquid metal coolants for space nuclear power units

    The consideration is given to the results of investigations conducting in IPPE from the 1950s on the technology and heat transfer of liquid metal coolants (lithium and sodium-potassium eutectic alloy) of space nuclear power plants (SNPP). The advantage of lithium coolant is its low density, splendid heat-transfer properties, high boiling point, low saturated vapor pressure, low activation when passing through reactor core, etc. Its disadvantage is high melting point and the higher corrosion activity than sodium-potassium alloy one. Prospects of lithium coolant use in developing current powerful SNPP are shown. Reliable operation of liquid metal part (with sodium-potassium coolant) of SNPP of low power and limited life at satellites launching in the USSR in 1970-80s is pointed out

  12. Space nuclear power in views: 50 years ago and prevision for 50 years

    Full text: The second half of the XXth century became the age of the origin and formation of space nuclear power. During that time the potentialities and advantages of its application in large, medium and small nuclear rocket propulsions (NRP) were being earnestly demonstrated. The prototypes of different level NRP reactors were being tested in the USA and in the USSR during 1970-1980. Since 1956 the practical works on studying the opportunities of use the nuclear power installations (NPI) with direct methods of converting thermal power into electricity at the space vehicles have been launched. In addition to radio-isotopic space generators of current, reactor thermoelectric installations SNAP-10A of 0,5 kW, 'Bouk' of 3 kW and thermo-emission installation 'TOPAZ' of ∼6 kW were proposed, designed and constructed. 32 'Bouk' installations were operating in space during 1970-1988. Two 'TOPAZ' installations successfully passed flight space testing in 1987-1988. An important contribution to design and construction of 'Bouk' and 'TOPAZ' installations was made by V. Ya. Poupko. Simultaneously with the designs which reached their technical realization, the feasibility studies of the whole number of installations with different class reactors were carried out in the USSR (Russia) and USA. Brief descriptions of some of them are cited in the present Report. They were the modernized variants of thermo-emission and thermoelectric installations ('TOPAZ-2', SP-100) as well as the variants of combinations of the NPIs with multi-mode functioning, installations with power convert systems removed from the core, bimodal installations using NRP and NPI solutions, installations based on the lithium-niobium technology and installations with machine methods of conversion. However, in the end of the XXth - in the beginning of the XXIst centuries, depending on the economical expedience of the space NPIs, the higher requirements were presented to power (from several kW units to several

  13. Space nuclear power requirements for ozone layer modification

    This work estimates the power requirements for using photochemical processes driven by space nuclear power to counteract the Earth's ozone layer depletion. The total quantity of ozone (O3) in the Earth's atmosphere is estimated to be about 4.7 x 1037 molecules. The ozone production and destruction rates in the stratosphere are both on the order of 4.9 x 1031 molecules/s, differing by a small fraction so that the net depletion rate is about 0.16 to 0.26% per year. The delivered optical power requirement for offsetting this depletion is estimated to be on the order of 3 GW. If the power were produced by satellite reactors at 800 km altitude (orbit decay time ∼ 300 years), some means of efficient power beaming would be needed to deliver the power to stratospheric levels (10--50 km). Ultraviolet radiation at 140--150 nm could have higher absorption rates in O2 (leading to production of atomic oxygen, which can combine with O2 to form O3) than in ozone (leading to photodissociation of O3). Potential radiation sources include H2 lasers and direct nuclear pumping of ultraviolet fluorescers. 5 refs

  14. IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference: Notes on the Early Conferences

    Pellish, Jonathan A.; Galloway, Kenneth F.

    2013-01-01

    This paper gathers the remembrances of several key contributors who participated in the earliest Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conferences (NSREC).

  15. Technology status of tantalum alloys for space nuclear power applications

    Tantalum alloys have a variety of properties which make them attractive candidates for application in nuclear power systems required to operate in space at elevated temperatures (1200 to 16000K) for extended time periods. Most of the technology development on this class of alloys which is pertinent to space system application occurred during the 1960 to 1972 time period under NASA sponsorship. The most extensive data bases resulting from this earlier work were obtained on the alloys T-111 (Ta-8W-2Hf) and ASTAR 811C (Ta-8W-1Re-0.7Hf-0.025C). Emphasis in this paper is directed at the following technical factors: producibility, creep strength, weldability and compatibility. These factors are considered to be the most important elements in the selection of alloys for this application. Review of the available information indicates that alloys of this type are appropriate for application in many systems, particularly those utilizing alkali metals as the working fluid. 43 refs

  16. Silicon Carbide Based Power Mangement and Distribution for Space Nuclear Power Systems Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In this SBIR project, APEI, Inc. is proposing to develop a high efficiency, rad-hard, 100's kWe power management and distribution (PMAD) system for space nuclear...

  17. Progress in space nuclear reactor power systems technology development. The SP-100 program

    Activities related to the development of high-temperature compact nuclear reactors for space applications had reached a comparatively high level in the U.S. during the mid-1950s and 1960s, although only one U.S. nuclear reactor-powered spacecraft was actually launched. After 1973, very little effort was devoted to space nuclear reactor and propulsion systems. In February 1983, significant activities toward the development of the technology for space nuclear reactor power systems were resumed with the SP-100 Program. Specific SP-100 Program objectives are partly related to the determination of the potential performance limits for space nuclear power systems in 100-kWe and 1- to 100-MW electrical classes. Attention is given to potential missions and applications, regimes of possible space power applicability, safety considerations, conceptual system designs, the establishment of technical feasibility, nuclear technology, materials technology, and prospects for the future. 5 references

  18. The flight safety review/approval process for U.S. nuclear-powered space missions

    Since 1961, the US has launched > 20 spacecraft using nuclear power sources. One of these space missions involved a nuclear reactor; the remainder were powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Space nuclear power/propulsion systems are receiving greater attention in the US and abroad. These developments suggest that nuclear systems may play an expanding role in future space endeavors. Although space nuclear power/propulsion offers distinct advantages, it also poses significant safety challenges. Stringent design and operational flight safety measures are required to protect the public an the environment under normal and accident conditions. Moreover, formal safety reviews are mandatory to obtain flight approval. This paper describes the flight safety review and launch approval process used in the US for nuclear-powered space missions

  19. Summary of space nuclear reactor power systems, 1983--1992

    Buden, D.

    1993-08-11

    This report summarizes major developments in the last ten years which have greatly expanded the space nuclear reactor power systems technology base. In the SP-100 program, after a competition between liquid-metal, gas-cooled, thermionic, and heat pipe reactors integrated with various combinations of thermoelectric thermionic, Brayton, Rankine, and Stirling energy conversion systems, three concepts:were selected for further evaluation. In 1985, the high-temperature (1,350 K), lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectric conversion was selected for full scale development. Since then, significant progress has been achieved including the demonstration of a 7-y-life uranium nitride fuel pin. Progress on the lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectrics has progressed from a concept, through a generic flight system design, to the design, development, and testing of specific components. Meanwhile, the USSR in 1987--88 orbited a new generation of nuclear power systems beyond the, thermoelectric plants on the RORSAT satellites. The US has continued to advance its own thermionic fuel element development, concentrating on a multicell fuel element configuration. Experimental work has demonstrated a single cell operating time of about 1 1/2-y. Technology advances have also been made in the Stirling engine; an advanced engine that operates at 1,050 K is ready for testing. Additional concepts have been studied and experiments have been performed on a variety of systems to meet changing needs; such as powers of tens-to-hundreds of megawatts and highly survivable systems of tens-of-kilowatts power.

  20. Application of wavelet analysis to the nuclear phase space study

    The objective of this thesis is to present a methodology, based on the projection methods used in statistical physics and on the wavelet approach, which allows to obtain various classes of information. A coherent modelling was elaborated as the tools used for generating and solving the evolution equations, expressed in terms of pertinent variables, are based on common concepts. The property of scale separation of the wavelet analysis allows an approximation hierarchy based on the geometrical structure of phase space to be defined. This information structuration offers the opportunity of solving the evolution equations with various degrees of precision by controlling the information loss and avoiding the sampling methods of Monte Carlo type. The application of this methodology to the case of heavy ion collisions needs an entirely numerical treatment of the density matrix evolution equation. This implies a very precise level of description in order to take into account the important dissipation effects occurring in intermediate energy nuclear dynamics. A proper solution less expensive was adopted by using the wavelets analytically expressed, this entailing also the testing of model validity by comparing its results with the analytical solutions. This model takes into account the structure of the system wave functions, thus conserving the microscopical information. The present methodology can be applied also at other energy domains providing the nuclear systems are subject to transient non steady-state regimes. The wavelet analysis was used extensively in the field of signal processing particularly to extract from background a physical signal and also in the field of turbulence phenomena

  1. Summary of space nuclear reactor power systems, 1983--1992

    This report summarizes major developments in the last ten years which have greatly expanded the space nuclear reactor power systems technology base. In the SP-100 program, after a competition between liquid-metal, gas-cooled, thermionic, and heat pipe reactors integrated with various combinations of thermoelectric thermionic, Brayton, Rankine, and Stirling energy conversion systems, three concepts:were selected for further evaluation. In 1985, the high-temperature (1,350 K), lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectric conversion was selected for full scale development. Since then, significant progress has been achieved including the demonstration of a 7-y-life uranium nitride fuel pin. Progress on the lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectrics has progressed from a concept, through a generic flight system design, to the design, development, and testing of specific components. Meanwhile, the USSR in 1987--88 orbited a new generation of nuclear power systems beyond the, thermoelectric plants on the RORSAT satellites. The US has continued to advance its own thermionic fuel element development, concentrating on a multicell fuel element configuration. Experimental work has demonstrated a single cell operating time of about 1 1/2-y. Technology advances have also been made in the Stirling engine; an advanced engine that operates at 1,050 K is ready for testing. Additional concepts have been studied and experiments have been performed on a variety of systems to meet changing needs; such as powers of tens-to-hundreds of megawatts and highly survivable systems of tens-of-kilowatts power

  2. Analysis of space systems study for the space disposal of nuclear waste study report. Volume 2: Technical report

    1981-01-01

    Reasonable space systems concepts were systematically identified and defined and a total system was evaluated for the space disposal of nuclear wastes. Areas studied include space destinations, space transportation options, launch site options payload protection approaches, and payload rescue techniques. Systems level cost and performance trades defined four alternative space systems which deliver payloads to the selected 0.85 AU heliocentric orbit destination at least as economically as the reference system without requiring removal of the protective radiation shield container. No concepts significantly less costly than the reference concept were identified.

  3. Space nuclear reactor system diagnosis: Knowledge-based approach

    SP-100 space nuclear reactor system development is a joint effort by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The system is designed to operate in isolation for many years, and is possibly subject to little or no remote maintenance. This dissertation proposes a knowledge based diagnostic system which, in principle, can diagnose the faults which can either cause reactor shutdown or lead to another serious problem. This framework in general can be applied to the fully specified system if detailed design information becomes available. The set of faults considered herein is identified based on heuristic knowledge about the system operation. The suitable approach to diagnostic problem solving is proposed after investigating the most prevalent methodologies in Artificial Intelligence as well as the causal analysis of the system. Deep causal knowledge modeling based on digraph, fault-tree or logic flowgraph methodology would present a need for some knowledge representation to handle the time dependent system behavior. A proposed qualitative temporal knowledge modeling methodology, using rules with specified time delay among the process variables, has been proposed and is used to develop the diagnostic sufficient rule set. The rule set has been modified by using a time zone approach to have a robust system design. The sufficient rule set is transformed to a sufficient and necessary one by searching the whole knowledge base. Qualitative data analysis is proposed in analyzing the measured data if in a real time situation. An expert system shell - Intelligence Compiler is used to develop the prototype system. Frames are used for the process variables. Forward chaining rules are used in monitoring and backward chaining rules are used in diagnosis

  4. Stirling System Modeling for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2008-01-01

    A dynamic model of a high-power Stirling convertor has been developed for space nuclear power systems modeling. The model is based on the Component Test Power Convertor (CTPC), a 12.5-kWe free-piston Stirling convertor. The model includes the fluid heat source, the Stirling convertor, output power, and heat rejection. The Stirling convertor model includes the Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, mechanical mass-spring damper systems, and the linear alternator. The model was validated against test data. Both nonlinear and linear versions of the model were developed. The linear version algebraically couples two separate linear dynamic models; one model of the Stirling cycle and one model of the thermal system, through the pressure factors. Future possible uses of the Stirling system dynamic model are discussed. A pair of commercially available 1-kWe Stirling convertors is being purchased by NASA Glenn Research Center. The specifications of those convertors may eventually be incorporated into the dynamic model and analysis compared to the convertor test data. Subsequent potential testing could include integrating the convertors into a pumped liquid metal hot-end interface. This test would provide more data for comparison to the dynamic model analysis.

  5. Gas Foil Bearings for Space Propulsion Nuclear Electric Power Generation

    Howard, Samuel A.; DellaCorte, Christopher

    2006-01-01

    The choice of power conversion technology is critical in directing the design of a space vehicle for the future NASA mission to Mars. One candidate design consists of a foil bearing supported turbo alternator driven by a helium-xenon gas mixture heated by a nuclear reactor. The system is a closed-loop, meaning there is a constant volume of process fluid that is sealed from the environment. Therefore, foil bearings are proposed due to their ability to use the process gas as a lubricant. As such, the rotor dynamics of a foil bearing supported rotor is an important factor in the eventual design. The current work describes a rotor dynamic analysis to assess the viability of such a system. A brief technology background, assumptions, analyses, and conclusions are discussed in this report. The results indicate that a foil bearing supported turbo alternator is possible, although more work will be needed to gain knowledge about foil bearing behavior in helium-xenon gas.

  6. Civilian and military applications of space nuclear power: a congressional perspective

    I would like to talk about how space nuclear power fits into space programs in general. You are aware that NASA identified a civilian use that would require nuclear power on the order of 100 kilowatts - that is planetary exploration - before the military indicated their interest. Actually there are many possible civilian and military uses for space nuclear power. I would like to briefly review them because it provides insight into the future direction of the US space program. I would also like to discuss the baseline directed energy weapons program that appears to be emerging

  7. A comparative study of nuclear technology and direct energy conversion methods for space power systems

    Reason, Joseph P., Jr.

    1997-01-01

    Approved for public release; distribution in unlimited. The objectives of this thesis are to investigate the theory of direct energy conversion, research the development of space nuclear power systems, evaluate the status of current systems, and draw conclusions about the feasibility and merit of using nuclear power for future space missions. Development of the earliest systems began in 1955 with the Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) Program and Project Rover. A detailed review of...

  8. Radionuclide inventories for short run-time space nuclear reactor systems

    Space Nuclear Reactor Systems, especially those used for propulsion, often have expected operation run times much shorter than those for land-based nuclear power plants. This produces substantially different radionuclide inventories to be considered in the safety analyses of space nuclear systems. This presentation describes an analysis utilizing ORIGEN2 and DKPOWER to provide comparisons among representative land-based and space systems. These comparisons enable early, conceptual considerations of safety issues and features in the preliminary design phases of operational systems, test facilities, and operations by identifying differences between the requirements for space systems and the established practice for land-based power systems. Early indications are that separation distance is much more effective as a safety measure for space nuclear systems than for power reactors because greater decay of the radionuclide activity occurs during the time to transport the inventory a given distance. In addition, the inventories of long-lived actinides are very low for space reactor systems

  9. Nuclear Propulsion for Space, Understanding the Atom Series.

    Corliss, William R.; Schwenk, Francis C.

    The operation of nuclear rockets with respect both to rocket theory and to various fuels is described. The development of nuclear reactors for use in nuclear rocket systems is provided, with the Kiwi and NERVA programs highlighted. The theory of fuel element and reactor construction and operation is explained with particular reference to rocket…

  10. Space Nuclear Power Public and Stakeholder Risk Communication

    Dawson, Sandra M.; Sklar, Maria

    2005-01-01

    The 1986 Challenger accident coupled with the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident increased public concern about the safety of spacecraft using nuclear technology. While three nuclear powered spacecraft had been launched before 1986 with little public interest, future nuclear powered missions would see significantly more public concern and require NASA to increase its efforts to communicate mission risks to the public. In 1987 a separate risk communication area within the Launch Approval Planning Group of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was created to address public concern about the health, environmental, and safety risks of NASA missions. The lessons learned from the risk communication strategies developed for the nuclear powered Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini missions are reviewed in this paper and recommendations are given as to how these lessons can be applied to future NASA missions that may use nuclear power systems and other potentially controversial NASA missions.

  11. Absolute nuclear material assay using count distribution (LAMBDA) space

    Prasad, Mano K.; Snyderman, Neal J.; Rowland, Mark S.

    2015-12-01

    A method of absolute nuclear material assay of an unknown source comprising counting neutrons from the unknown source and providing an absolute nuclear material assay utilizing a model to optimally compare to the measured count distributions. In one embodiment, the step of providing an absolute nuclear material assay comprises utilizing a random sampling of analytically computed fission chain distributions to generate a continuous time-evolving sequence of event-counts by spreading the fission chain distribution in time.

  12. Absolute nuclear material assay using count distribution (LAMBDA) space

    Prasad, Manoj K.; Snyderman, Neal J.; Rowland, Mark S.

    2012-06-05

    A method of absolute nuclear material assay of an unknown source comprising counting neutrons from the unknown source and providing an absolute nuclear material assay utilizing a model to optimally compare to the measured count distributions. In one embodiment, the step of providing an absolute nuclear material assay comprises utilizing a random sampling of analytically computed fission chain distributions to generate a continuous time-evolving sequence of event-counts by spreading the fission chain distribution in time.

  13. Review of the Tri-Agency Space Nuclear Reactor Power System Technology Program

    The Space Nuclear Reactor Power System Technology Program (SP-100) was created in February 1983 by Memorandum of Agreement among NASA, DARPA and DOE. The tasks of the SP-100 organization in its first year have included detailed program, objective, and role definition; civil and military mission analysis; space nuclear power system functional requirement definition; conclusion of initial space nuclear power system concepted definition studies; selection of primary concepts for technology feasibility validation; defining and initiating specific technology programs and objectives to support the system concepts; and obtaining initial experimental and analytic results

  14. Thermal Simulator Development: Non-Nuclear Testing of Space Fission Systems

    Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M.; Dickens, Ricky E.

    2006-01-01

    Non-nuclear testing can be a valuable tool in the development of a space nuclear power system. At the NASA MSFC Early Flight Fission Test Facility (EFF-TF), highly designed electric heaters are used to simulate the heat from nuclear fuel to test space fission power and propulsion systems. To allow early utilization, nuclear system designs must be relatively simple, easy to fabricate, and easy to test using non-nuclear heaters to closely mimic heat from fission. In this test strategy, highly designed electric heaters are used to simulate the heat from nuclear fuel, allowing one to develop a significant understanding of individual components and integrated system operation without the cost, time and safety concerns associated with nuclear testing.

  15. Lightweight Radiator Fins for Space Nuclear Power Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This SBIR Phase 1 project shall investigate concept radiator fins that incorporate novel carbon materials for improved performance of segmented high temperature...

  16. Ground test facility for nuclear testing of space reactor subsystems

    Two major reactor facilities at the INEL have been identified as easily adaptable for supporting the nuclear testing of the SP-100 reactor subsystem. They are the Engineering Test Reactor (ETR) and the Loss of Fluid Test Reactor (LOFT). In addition, there are machine shops, analytical laboratories, hot cells, and the supporting services (fire protection, safety, security, medical, waste management, etc.) necessary to conducting a nuclear test program. This paper presents the conceptual approach for modifying these reactor facilities for the ground engineering test facility for the SP-100 nuclear subsystem. 4 figs

  17. Analysis of space systems for the space disposal of nuclear waste follow-on study. Volume 2: Technical report

    1982-01-01

    The space option for disposal of certain high-level nuclear wastes in space as a complement to mined geological repositories is studied. A brief overview of the study background, scope, objective, guidelines and assumptions, and contents is presented. The determination of the effects of variations in the waste mix on the space systems concept to allow determination of the space systems effect on total system risk benefits when used as a complement to the DOE reference mined geological repository is studied. The waste payload system, launch site, launch system, and orbit transfer system are all addressed. Rescue mission requirements are studied. The characteristics of waste forms suitable for space disposal are identified. Trajectories and performance requirements are discussed.

  18. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) Development Activities at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center - 2006 Accomplishments

    Ballard, Richard O.

    2007-01-01

    In 2005-06, the Prometheus program funded a number of tasks at the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to support development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system for future manned exploration missions. These tasks include the following: 1. NTP Design Develop Test & Evaluate (DDT&E) Planning 2. NTP Mission & Systems Analysis / Stage Concepts & Engine Requirements 3. NTP Engine System Trade Space Analysis and Studies 4. NTP Engine Ground Test Facility Assessment 5. Non-Nuclear Environmental Simulator (NTREES) 6. Non-Nuclear Materials Fabrication & Evaluation 7. Multi-Physics TCA Modeling. This presentation is a overview of these tasks and their accomplishments

  19. Space nuclear power system concepts and the test facility needs/programmatic requirements

    This paper gives an overview of the planning needs for the SP-100 and Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power Systems programs. Factors of concern include: establishment of mission performance test goals; determination of current Federal Order requirements; compliance with applicable institutional and regulatory requirements, especially those related to site environmental qualification; analysis of lessons learned from the commercial nuclear power, NERVA and SNAP programs; determination of needed technical program support services; analysis of regulatory requirements for similar nuclear programs; establishment of test program safeguards and security; analysis of public health and safety; determination of site program readiness; and determination of public acceptance of the space program and the proposed test site

  20. Assessment of Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Facility and Capability Needs

    James Werner

    2014-07-01

    The development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system rests heavily upon being able to fabricate and demonstrate the performance of a high temperature nuclear fuel as well as demonstrating an integrated system prior to launch. A number of studies have been performed in the past which identified the facilities needed and the capabilities available to meet the needs and requirements identified at that time. Since that time, many facilities and capabilities within the Department of Energy have been removed or decommissioned. This paper provides a brief overview of the anticipated facility needs and identifies some promising concepts to be considered which could support the development of a nuclear thermal propulsion system. Detailed trade studies will need to be performed to support the decision making process.

  1. Space exploration initiative candidate nuclear propulsion test facilities

    Baldwin, Darrell; Clark, John S.

    1993-01-01

    One-page descriptions for approximately 200 existing government, university, and industry facilities which may be available in the future to support SEI nuclear propulsion technology development and test program requirements are provided. To facilitate use of the information, the candidate facilities are listed both by location (Index L) and by Facility Type (Index FT). The included one-page descriptions provide a brief narrative description of facility capability, suggest potential uses for each facility, and designate a point of contact for additional information that may be needed in the future. The Nuclear Propulsion Office at NASA Lewis presently plans to maintain, expand, and update this information periodically for use by NASA, DOE, and DOD personnel involved in planning various phases of the SEI Nuclear Propulsion Project.

  2. Assessment of Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Facility and Capability Needs

    The development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system rests heavily upon being able to fabricate and demonstrate the performance of a high temperature nuclear fuel as well as demonstrating an integrated system prior to launch. A number of studies have been performed in the past which identified the facilities needed and the capabilities available to meet the needs and requirements identified at that time. Since that time, many facilities and capabilities within the Department of Energy have been removed or decommissioned. This paper provides a brief overview of the anticipated facility needs and identifies some promising concepts to be considered which could support the development of a nuclear thermal propulsion system. Detailed trade studies will need to be performed to support the decision making process.

  3. Use of nuclear data for space and aeronautic designs

    Until recently, the effects of radiation environment on on-board electronics on launchers and aircraft had not been seriously taken into account. The situation has changed. And one of the most significant effects observed on on-board electronics is what we call Single Event Upset (SEU). This talk explains how the combination of electrical sensitivity of components and nuclear physics is important in the calculation of SEU rates, and emphasizes the aspects of nuclear physics useful to give the probability for a dangerous event to occur. Some circumvention methods will be rapidly identified. (authors)

  4. Simulation and primary circuit control of the SP-100 space nuclear power reactor

    Space nuclear power reactors with thermoelectric conversion are one of the main sources for space application that can provide enough electric power. In this paper we discuss the working conditions, basic structure and operational characteristics of an EMTE pump needed to flow control of a metal liquid nuclear space reactor primary circuit. The BEMTE-1 program is used to study this system during normal operation to simulate the SP-100 american reactor primary cooling circuit and to obtain the actuation point of the system. (author)

  5. Assessment of ceramic composites for MMW space nuclear power systems

    Proposed multimegawatt nuclear power systems which operate at high temperatures, high levels of stress, and in hostile environments, including corrosive working fluids, have created interest in the use of ceramic composites as structural materials. This report assesses the applicability of several ceramic composites in both Brayton and Rankine cycle power systems. This assessment considers an equilibrium thermodynamic analysis and also a nonequilibrium assessment. (FI)

  6. Space Nuclear Safety Program. Progress report, April 1984

    George, T.G. (comp.)

    1985-10-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Covered are: general-purpose heat source testing and recovery, and safety technology program (biaxial testing, iridium chemistry).

  7. Space nuclear-safety program. Progress report, October 1982

    Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)

    1983-03-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed here are ongoing. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues.

  8. Space Nuclear Safety Program. Progress report, August 1984

    George, T.G. (comp.)

    1985-11-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed are ongoing; the results and conclusions described may change as the work progresses. 41 figs.

  9. Space Nuclear Safety Program. Progress report, June 1984

    George, T.G. (comp.)

    1985-11-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed are ongoing; the results and conclusions described may change as the work continues. 36 figs.

  10. Space Nuclear Safety Program. Progress report, March 1984

    Zocher, R.W.; George, T.G. (comps.)

    1985-08-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos Laboratory. They are divided into: general-purpose heat source, lightweight radioisotope heater unit, and safety technology program. 43 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. Space Nuclear Safety Program. Progress report, July 1984

    George, T.G. (comp.)

    1985-11-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed here are ongoing; results and conclusions described may change as the work continues. 10 figs.

  12. Space nuclear safety program. Progress report, October 1983

    Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)

    1984-03-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  13. Space nuclear-safety program, November 1982. Progress report

    Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)

    1983-05-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed here are ongoing. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues.

  14. Space nuclear safety program. Progress report, January 1984

    Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)

    1984-07-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed here are ongoing. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues.

  15. Space nuclear safety program. Progress report, July 1983

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of 238PuO2 in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed here are ongoing. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues

  16. Review of the design status of the SP-100 Space Nuclear Power System

    The Heat Pipe Space Nuclear Reactor (HPSNR) System is one of the advanced designs for space nuclear power applications presently being considered. However, a number of design features will continue to require substantial technology and development before considering the system for deployment. This paper reviews the design status of the HPSNR system, as of October 1982, discusses the limitations of the current design and emphasizes those technical areas requiring additional research needed to support continual system development. The topics and design limitations discussed are common to most space nuclear power systems that are currently being developed under the SP-100 program to produce 100 kWe of continuous power in a space environment

  17. Advanced Space Nuclear Reactors from Fiction to Reality

    Popa-Simil, L.

    The advanced nuclear power sources are used in a large variety of science fiction movies and novels, but their practical development is, still, in its early conceptual stages, some of the ideas being confirmed by collateral experiments. The novel reactor concept uses the direct conversion of nuclear energy into electricity, has electronic control of reactivity, being surrounded by a transmutation blanket and very thin shielding being small and light that at its very limit may be suitable to power an autonomously flying car. It also provides an improved fuel cycle producing minimal negative impact to environment. The key elements started to lose the fiction attributes, becoming viable actual concepts and goals for the developments to come, and on the possibility to achieve these objectives started to become more real because the theory shows that using the novel nano-technologies this novel reactor might be achievable in less than a century.

  18. Thermal radiation in gas core nuclear reactors for space propulsion

    Slutz, S.A.; Gauntt, R.O.; Harms, G.A.; Latham, T.; Roman, W.; Rodgers, R.J. (Sandia National Lab, Albuquerque, NM (United States))

    1994-05-01

    A diffusive model of the radial transport of thermal radiation out of a cylindrical core of fissioning plasma is presented. The diffusion approximation is appropriate because the opacity of uranium is very high at the temperatures of interest (greater than 3000 K). We make one additional simplification of assuming constant opacity throughout the fuel. This allows the complete set of solutions to be expressed as a single function. This function is approximated analytically to facilitate parametric studies of the performance of a test module of the nuclear light bulb gas-core nuclear-rocket-engine concept, in the Annular Core Research Reactor at Sandia National Laboratories. Our findings indicate that radiation temperatures in range of 4000-6000 K are attainable, which is sufficient to test the high specific impulse potential (approximately 2000 s) of this concept. 15 refs.

  19. Thermal radiation in gas core nuclear reactors for space propulsion

    A diffusive model of the radial transport of thermal radiation out of a cylindrical core of fissioning plasma is presented. The diffusion approximation is appropriate because the opacity of uranium is very high at the temperatures of interest (greater than 3000 K). We make one additional simplification of assuming constant opacity throughout the fuel. This allows the complete set of solutions to be expressed as a single function. This function is approximated analytically to facilitate parametric studies of the performance of a test module of the nuclear light bulb gas-core nuclear-rocket-engine concept, in the Annular Core Research Reactor at Sandia National Laboratories. Our findings indicate that radiation temperatures in range of 4000-6000 K are attainable, which is sufficient to test the high specific impulse potential (approximately 2000 s) of this concept. 15 refs

  20. A fission fragment reactor concept for nuclear space propulsion

    Suo-Anttila, A. J.; Parma, E. J.; Wright, S. A.; Vernon, M. E.; Pickard, P. S.

    1991-10-01

    Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) has proposed a new nuclear thermal propulsion concept that uses fission fragments to directly heat the propellant up to 1000 K or higher above the material temperatures. The concept offers significant advantages over traditional solid core nuclear rocket concepts because of higher propellant exit temperatures while at the same time providing for more reliable operation due to lower structure temperatures and lower power densities. The concept can be operated in either steady state or pulsed modes. The engine consists of tubular modules, each with its own pressure boundary and rocket nozzle. The steady state mode requires a large engine with a reflector for criticality, provides high thrust and high ISP. The pulse mode utilizes a driver reactor for criticality and can be considerably smaller with lower but scaleable thrust. The pulse mode does require an external heat radiator for reactor cooling, which limits its duty cycle.

  1. Calculation of nuclear electromagnetic pulse propagation into space

    The wave of NEMP propagation through ionosphere into space are calculated by means of the radial-trace method. With the expression and delays of the ionosphere, NEMP wave turned into a vibrating wave. Numerical simulations show that NEMP can be measured at the orbit of satellite. (authors)

  2. Nuclear reactor closed Brayton cycle space power conversion systems

    This paper presents the past history, present status and future prospects for closed Brayton cycle power conversion systems to be used in space when requirements have been established. Since there is a classic lack of coordination between advanced technology and its perceived need that can be strongly affected by associated factors, recommendations will be made to assist in the current situation. 4 refs

  3. Space Nuclear Safety Program. Progress report, November 1983

    Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)

    1984-06-01

    This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Topics discussed include: safety-verification impact tests; explosion test; fragment test; leaking fueled clads; effects of fresh water and seawater or PuO/sub 2/ pellets; and impact tests of 5 watt radioisotope thermoelectric generator.

  4. Instrument for registration of nuclear fluxes in near outer space

    An instrument is described in which the stacks of photoemulsion of cellulose nitrate that register nuclear tracks are exposed on board a low-orbit satellite at certain points on its flight trajectory. The particle flux is shut off by means of a mechanical shutter, which is controlled by a gas-discharge counter of cosmic rays, whose intensity is a function of the geographical latitude

  5. Feasibility of Low Enriched Uranium Fuel for Space Nuclear Propulsion

    Venneri, Paolo; Kim, Yonghee [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-05-15

    The purpose of this initial study is to create a baseline with which to perform further analysis and to build a solid understanding of the neutronic characteristics of a solid core for the nuclear thermal rocket. Once consistency with work done at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is established, this paper will provide a study of other fuel types, such as low and medium-enriched uranium fuels. This paper will examine how the implementation of each fuel type affects the multiplication factor of the reactor, and will then explore different possibilities for alterations needed to accommodate their successful usage. The reactor core analysis was done using the MCNP5 code. While this study has not shown that the SNRE can be easily retrofitted for low-enriched U fuel, it has made a detailed study of the SNRE, and identified the difficulties of the implementation of low-enriched fuels in small nuclear rockets. These difficulties are the need for additional moderation and fuel mass in order to achieve a critical mass. Neither of these is insurmountable. Future work includes finding the best method by which to increase the internal moderation of the reactor balanced with appropriate sizing to prevent neutron leakage. Both of these are currently being studied. This paper will present a study of the Small Nuclear Rocket Engine (SNRE) and the feasibility of using low enriched Uranium (LEU) instead of the traditional high enriched Uranium (HEU) fuels.

  6. Feasibility of Low Enriched Uranium Fuel for Space Nuclear Propulsion

    The purpose of this initial study is to create a baseline with which to perform further analysis and to build a solid understanding of the neutronic characteristics of a solid core for the nuclear thermal rocket. Once consistency with work done at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is established, this paper will provide a study of other fuel types, such as low and medium-enriched uranium fuels. This paper will examine how the implementation of each fuel type affects the multiplication factor of the reactor, and will then explore different possibilities for alterations needed to accommodate their successful usage. The reactor core analysis was done using the MCNP5 code. While this study has not shown that the SNRE can be easily retrofitted for low-enriched U fuel, it has made a detailed study of the SNRE, and identified the difficulties of the implementation of low-enriched fuels in small nuclear rockets. These difficulties are the need for additional moderation and fuel mass in order to achieve a critical mass. Neither of these is insurmountable. Future work includes finding the best method by which to increase the internal moderation of the reactor balanced with appropriate sizing to prevent neutron leakage. Both of these are currently being studied. This paper will present a study of the Small Nuclear Rocket Engine (SNRE) and the feasibility of using low enriched Uranium (LEU) instead of the traditional high enriched Uranium (HEU) fuels

  7. Thermoelectric converter modeling in nuclear space power conversion and regulation

    Thermoelectric converters are being used on low power planetary spacecraft. The same type of conversion was considered for Ground Engineering System development of nuclear power generation under the SP-100 program for high power earth orbiting spacecraft. Here, the baseline design is aimed at generating power using a nuclear reactor to produce heat, a thermoelectric converter to produce electricity, a power regulator to match the output to changing payload demands, and a thermal radiator to dissipate waste heat. The converter performance has to be evaluated considering its characteristics. The characteristics and constraints imposed by the nuclear reactor, the payloads and regulator, and the waste heat radiator should be conformed to. Presented here are a thermodynamic reversible engine model for the thermoelectric converter, and its application to evaluate the converter and system performance under steady-state and transient thermal conditions due to load changes. The type of output voltage regulator, either a series or shunt, has an impact on the converter performance. This impact is evaluated and advantages and disadvantages of both are indicated. The converter performance is evaluated along its voltage-current characteristics. Influence of the conversion efficiency is assessed on thermal distribution and electrical output

  8. Ventilation of a nuclear space: modelling, experimental validation and consequences

    The present problems raised by ventilation are stated, and a review is made of the models of contamination dispersion and calculation of the contaminant concentrations and their validity as to the data collected during radiological events. A model more suitable to the conditions prevailing in installations has been derived from these models in order to describe the evolution of contaminant concentrations in a ventilated space

  9. Nuclear disassembly time scales using space time correlations

    The lifetime, τ, with respect to multifragmentation of highly excited nuclei is deduced from the analysis of strongly damped Pb+Au collisions at 29 MeV/u. The method is based on the study of space-time correlations induced by 'proximity' effects between fragments emitted by the two primary products of the reaction and gives the time between the re-separation of the two primary products and the subsequent multifragment decay of one partner. (author)

  10. Nuclear power in space. Use of reactors and radioactive substances as power sources in satellites and space probes

    Today solar panels are the most common technique to supply power to satellites. Solar panels will work as long as the power demand of the satellite is limited and the satellite can be equipped with enough panels, and kept in an orbit that allows enough sunlight to hit the panels. There are various types of space missions that do not fulfil these criteria. With nuclear power these types of missions can be powered regardless of the sunlight and as early as 1961 the first satellite with a nuclear power source was placed in orbit. Out of seventy known space missions that has made use of nuclear power, ten have had some kind of failure. In no case has the failure been associated with the nuclear technology used. This report discusses to what degree satellites with nuclear power are a source for potential radioactive contamination of Swedish territory. It is not a discussion for or against nuclear power in space. Neither is it an assessment of consequences if radioactive material from a satellite would reach the earth's surface. Historically two different kinds of Nuclear Power Sources (NPS) have been used to generate electric power in space. The first is the reactor where the energy is derived from nuclear fission of 235U and the second is the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) where electricity is generated from the heat of naturally decaying radionuclides. NPS has historically only been used in space by United States and the Soviet Union (and in one failing operation Russia). Nuclear Power Sources have been used in three types of space objects: satellites, space probes and moon/Mars vehicles. USA has launched one experimental reactor into orbit, all other use of NPS by the USA has been RTG:s. The Soviet Union, in contrast, only launched a few RTG:s but nearly forty reactors. The Soviet use of NPS is less transparent than the use in USA and some data published on Soviet systems are more or less well substantiated assessments. It is likely that also future

  11. Status of the CNES-CEA joint program on space nuclear Brayton systems

    A Cooperative program between the French Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the Commissariat a l'Engergie Atomique (CEA) was initiated in 1983, to investigate the possible development of 20 to 200 kWe space nuclear power systems to be launched by the next version of the European launcher, Ariane V. After completion in 1986 of preliminary conceptual studies of a reference 200 kWe turboelectric power system, an additional 3 year study phase was decided, with the double objective of assessing the potential advantage of nuclear power systems versus solar photovoltaic or dynamic systems in the 20 kWe power range, and comparing various reactor candidate technologies and systems options for 20 kWe space nuclear power systems, likely to meet the projected energy needs of future European space missions. The results of this study are discussed by the authors

  12. Space nuclear-power reactor design based on combined neutronic and thermal-fluid analyses

    The design and performance analysis of a space nuclear-power system requires sophisticated analytical capabilities such as those developed during the nuclear rocket propulsion (Rover) program. In particular, optimizing the size of a space nuclear reactor for a given power level requires satisfying the conflicting requirements of nuclear criticality and heat removal. The optimization involves the determination of the coolant void (volume) fraction for which the reactor diameter is a minimum and temperature and structural limits are satisfied. A minimum exists because the critical diameter increases with increasing void fraction, whereas the reactor diameter needed to remove a specified power decreases with void fraction. The purpose of this presentation is to describe and demonstrate our analytical capability for the determination of minimum reactor size. The analysis is based on combining neutronic criticality calculations with OPTION-code thermal-fluid calculations

  13. Possibilities of Kazakhstan experimental base for space nuclear reactors elements testing

    To the mid of 70-th in Kazakhstan the surface developing base for space nuclear reactors elements testing was created. The base consists of three test complexes. Two of them - the complexes of test reactors 'Baikal-1' and IGR - are situating on the Semipalatinsk test site, and the third one - complex of WWR-K research reactor - is situating in Alatau village nearby to Almaty city. On 'Baikal-1' and IGR complexes the testings for fuel elements, fuel assemblies, modules and prototypes of nuclear rocket engine reactor and nuclear energetic engine units with turbine-engine energy transmission on the base solid-phase reactor were carrying out. On the WWR-K reactor complex the testing of power generating channels of thermal-emission transmission reactors were conducted. In the paper the assessment of up-to-date experimental base status and it possibilities for further using in space nuclear energy field are given

  14. Direct Estimation of Power Distribution in Reactors for Nuclear Thermal Space Propulsion

    Aldemir, Tunc; Miller, Don W.; Burghelea, Andrei

    2004-02-01

    A recently proposed constant temperature power sensor (CTPS) has the capability to directly measure the local power deposition rate in nuclear reactor cores proposed for space thermal propulsion. Such a capability reduces the uncertainties in the estimated power peaking factors and hence increases the reliability of the nuclear engine. The CTPS operation is sensitive to the changes in the local thermal conditions. A procedure is described for the automatic on-line calibration of the sensor through estimation of changes in thermal .conditions.

  15. Human Factors and Information Operation for a Nuclear Power Space Vehicle

    This paper describes human-interactive systems needed for a crew nuclear-enabled space mission. A synthesis of aircraft engine and nuclear power plant displays, biofeedback of sensory input, virtual control, brain mapping for control process and manipulation, and so forth are becoming viable solutions. These aspects must maintain the crew's situation awareness and performance, which entails a delicate function allocation between crew and automation. (authors)

  16. Study of nuclear pairing with Configuration-Space Monte-Carlo approach

    Lingle, Mark; Volya, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Pairing correlations in nuclei play a decisive role in determining nuclear drip-lines, binding energies, and many collective properties. In this work a new Configuration-Space Monte-Carlo (CSMC) method for treating nuclear pairing correlations is developed, implemented, and demonstrated. In CSMC the Hamiltonian matrix is stochastically generated in Krylov subspace, resulting in the Monte-Carlo version of Lanczos-like diagonalization. The advantages of this approach over other techniques are d...

  17. General-purpose heat source project and space nuclear safety and fuels program. Progress report

    This formal monthly report covers the studies related to the use of 238PuO2 in radioisotopic power systems carried out for the Advanced Nuclear Systems and Projects Division of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. The two programs involved are general-purpose heat source development and space nuclear safety and fuels. Most of the studies discussed hear are of a continuing nature. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues

  18. Status of the CNES-CEA joint program on space nuclear Brayton systems

    A cooperative program between the French Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) was initiated in 1983, to investigate the possible development of 20 to 200 kWe space nuclear power systems to be launched by the next version of the European launcher, Ariane V. After completion in 1986 of preliminary conceptual studies of a reference 200 kWe turbo-electric power system, an additional 3 year study phase was decided, with the double objective of assessing the potential advantage of nuclear power systems versus solar photovoltaic or dynamic systems in the 20 kWe power range, and comparing various reactor candidate technologies and system options for 20 kWe space nuclear power systems, likely to meet the projected energy needs of future European space missions. A comprehensive program including conceptual design studies, operating transient analyses and technology base assessment, is currently applied to a few reference concepts of 20 kWe nuclear Brayton and thermoelectric systems, in order to establish sound technical and economical bases for selecting the design options and the development strategy of a first space nuclear power system in Europe

  19. Space Nuclear Power Plant Pre-Conceptual Design Report, For Information

    B. Levine

    2006-01-27

    This letter transmits, for information, the Project Prometheus Space Nuclear Power Plant (SNPP) Pre-Conceptual Design Report completed by the Naval Reactors Prime Contractor Team (NRPCT). This report documents the work pertaining to the Reactor Module, which includes integration of the space nuclear reactor with the reactor radiation shield, energy conversion, and instrumentation and control segments. This document also describes integration of the Reactor Module with the Heat Rejection segment, the Power Conditioning and Distribution subsystem (which comprise the SNPP), and the remainder of the Prometheus spaceship.

  20. Heat-electricity convertion systems for a Brazilian space micro nuclear reactor

    Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Marcelino, Natalia B.; Placco, Guilherme M.; Nascimento, Jamil A.; Borges, Eduardo M., E-mail: guimarae@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: lamartine.guimaraes@pq.cnpq.br, E-mail: jamil@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: jalnsgf@outlook.com, E-mail: borges.em@hotmail.com, E-mail: ecorborges@hotmail.com, E-mail: ivayolini@gmail.com, E-mail: guilherme_placco@ig.com.br [Instituto de Estudos Avancados (IEAv/DCTA), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Barrios Junior, Ary Garcia, E-mail: arygarcia89@yahoo.com [Faculdade de Tecnologia Sao Francisco (FATESF), Jacarei, SP (Brazil)

    2013-07-01

    This contribution will discuss the evolution work in the development of thermal cycles to allow the development of heat-electricity conversion for the Brazilian space micro nuclear Reactor. Namely, innovative core and nuclear fuel elements, Brayton cycle, Stirling engine, heat pipes, passive multi-fluid turbine, among others. This work is basically to set up the experimental labs that will allow the specification and design of the space equipment. Also, some discussion of the cost so far, and possible other applications will be presented. (author)

  1. Heat-electricity convertion systems for a Brazilian space micro nuclear reactor

    This contribution will discuss the evolution work in the development of thermal cycles to allow the development of heat-electricity conversion for the Brazilian space micro nuclear Reactor. Namely, innovative core and nuclear fuel elements, Brayton cycle, Stirling engine, heat pipes, passive multi-fluid turbine, among others. This work is basically to set up the experimental labs that will allow the specification and design of the space equipment. Also, some discussion of the cost so far, and possible other applications will be presented. (author)

  2. NASA safety program activities in support of the Space Exploration Initiatives Nuclear Propulsion program

    Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The activities of the joint NASA/DOE/DOD Nuclear Propulsion Program Technical Panels have been used as the basis for the current development of safety policies and requirements for the Space Exploration Initiatives (SEI) Nuclear Propulsion Technology development program. The Safety Division of the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Quality has initiated efforts to develop policies for the safe use of nuclear propulsion in space through involvement in the joint agency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG), encouraged expansion of the initial policy development into proposed programmatic requirements, and suggested further expansion into the overall risk assessment and risk management process for the NASA Exploration Program. Similar efforts are underway within the Department of Energy to ensure the safe development and testing of nuclear propulsion systems on Earth. This paper describes the NASA safety policy related to requirements for the design of systems that may operate where Earth re-entry is a possibility. The expected plan of action is to support and oversee activities related to the technology development of nuclear propulsion in space, and support the overall safety and risk management program being developed for the NASA Exploration Program.

  3. A Programmatic and Engineering Approach to the Development of a Nuclear Thermal Rocket for Space Exploration

    Bordelon, Wayne J., Jr.; Ballard, Rick O.; Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    With the announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration on January 14, 2004, there has been a renewed interest in nuclear thermal propulsion. Nuclear thermal propulsion is a leading candidate for in-space propulsion for human Mars missions; however, the cost to develop a nuclear thermal rocket engine system is uncertain. Key to determining the engine development cost will be the engine requirements, the technology used in the development and the development approach. The engine requirements and technology selection have not been defined and are awaiting definition of the Mars architecture and vehicle definitions. The paper discusses an engine development approach in light of top-level strategic questions and considerations for nuclear thermal propulsion and provides a suggested approach based on work conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to support planning and requirements for the Prometheus Power and Propulsion Office. This work is intended to help support the development of a comprehensive strategy for nuclear thermal propulsion, to help reduce the uncertainty in the development cost estimate, and to help assess the potential value of and need for nuclear thermal propulsion for a human Mars mission.

  4. Multilayer Scintillation Detector for Nuclear Physics Monitoring of Space Weather

    Batischev, A. G.; Aleksandrin, S. Yu.; Gurov, Yu. B.; Koldashov, S. V.; Lapushkin, S. V.; Mayorov, A. G.

    The physical characteristics of the multilayer scintillation spectrometer (MSS) for identification and energy measurement of cosmic electrons, positrons and nuclei are considered in this paper. This spectrometer is made on the basis of several plastic scintillator plates with various thick viewed by photomultipliers. Two upper layers are strips of orthogonal scintillators. The nuclei energy measurement range is 3 - 100 MeV/nucleon. Spectrometer is planning for space weather monitoring and investigation of solar-magnetospheric and geophysics effects on satellite. MSS time resolution is about 1 microsecond and it can measure the time profiles of fast processes in the Earth's magnetosphere. Spectrometer experimental characteristics were estimated by means of computer simulation. The ionization loss fluctuations, ion charge exchange during pass through detector and, especially, scintillation quenching effect (Bircs effect) were taken into account in calculations.

  5. Instrumentation and controls evaluation for space nuclear power systems

    Design of control and protection systems should be coordinated with the design of the neutronic, thermal-hydraulic, and mechanical aspects of the core and plant at the earliest possible stage of concept development. An integrated systematic design approach is necessary to prevent uncoordinated choices in one technology area from imposing impractical or impossible requirements in another. Significant development and qualification will be required for virtually every aspect of reactor control and instrumentation. In-core instrumentation widely used in commercial light water reactors will not likely be usable in the higher temperatures of a space power plant. Thermocouples for temperature measurement and gamma thermometers for flux measurement appear to be the only viable candidates. Recent developments in ex-core neutron detectors may provide achievable alternatives to in-core measurements. Reliable electronic equipment and high-temperature actuators will require major development efforts

  6. Instrumentation and Controls evaluation for space nuclear power systems

    Design of control and protection systems should be coordinated with the design of the neutronic, thermal-hydraulic, and mechanical aspects of the core and plant at the earliest possible stage of concept development. An integrated systematic design approach is necessary to prevent uncoordinated choices in one technology area from imposing impractical or impossible requirements in another. Significant development and qualification will be required for virtually every aspect of reactor control and instrumentation. In-core instrumentation widely used in commercial light water reactors will not likely be usable in the higher temperatures of a space power plant. Thermocouples for temperature measurement and gamma thermometers for flux measurement appear to be the only viable candidates. Recent developments in ex-core neutron detectors may provide achievable alternatives to in-core measurements. Reliable electronic equipment and high-temperature actuators will require major development efforts

  7. The outlook for application of powerful nuclear thermionic reactor -powered space electric jet propulsion engines

    This paper summarizes main study results for application of powerful space electric jet propulsion unit (EJPUs) which is powered by Nuclear Thermionic Power Unit (NTPU). They are combined in Nuclear Power/Propulsion Unit (NPPU) which serves as means of spacecraft equipment power supply and spacecraft movement. Problems the paper deals with are the following: information satellites delivery and their on-orbit power supply during 10-15 years, removal of especially hazardous nuclear wastes, mining of asteroid resources and others. Evaluations on power/time/mass relationship for this type of mission are given. EJPU parameters are compatible with Russian existent or being under development launch vehicle. (author)

  8. The outlook for application of powerful nuclear thermionic reactor - powered space electric jet propulsion engines

    Semyonov, Y.P.; Bakanov, Y.A.; Synyavsky, V.V.; Yuditsky, V.D. [Rocket-Space Corp. `Energia`, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    1997-12-31

    This paper summarizes main study results for application of powerful space electric jet propulsion unit (EJPUs) which is powered by Nuclear Thermionic Power Unit (NTPU). They are combined in Nuclear Power/Propulsion Unit (NPPU) which serves as means of spacecraft equipment power supply and spacecraft movement. Problems the paper deals with are the following: information satellites delivery and their on-orbit power supply during 10-15 years, removal of especially hazardous nuclear wastes, mining of asteroid resources and others. Evaluations on power/time/mass relationship for this type of mission are given. EJPU parameters are compatible with Russian existent or being under development launch vehicle. (author)

  9. Heat resistant materials and their feasibility issues for a space nuclear transportation system

    A number of nuclear propulsion concepts based on solid-core nuclear propulsion are being evaluated for a nuclear propulsion transportation system to support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) involving the reestablishment of a manned lunar base and the subsequent exploration of Mars. These systems will require high-temperature materials to meet the operating conditions with appropriate reliability and safety built into these systems through the selection and testing of appropriate materials. The application of materials for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems and the feasibility issues identified for their use will be discussed. Some mechanical property measurements have been obtained, and compatibility tests were conducted to help identify feasibility issues. 3 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs

  10. An interagency space nuclear propulsion safety policy for SEI - Issues and discussion

    Marshall, A. C.; Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    An interagency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative nuclear propulsion program to facilitate the implementation of mission planning and conceptual design studies. The NSPWG developed a top level policy to provide the guiding principles for the development and implementation of the nuclear propulsion safety program and the development of Safety Functional Requirements. In addition, the NSPWG reviewed safety issues for nuclear propulsion and recommended top level safety requirements and guidelines to address these issues. Safety topics include reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, safeguards, risk/reliability, operational safety, ground testing, and other considerations. In this paper the emphasis is placed on the safety policy and the issues and considerations that are addressed by the NSPWG recommendations.

  11. Simple Nuclear Excitations Distributed among Closely Spaced Levels

    A review is given of the limited information available about the correct description of simple nuclear excitations when they are mixed with more complicated excitations to form the quasi-stationary highly excited states of nuclei. Examples are given which illustrate the energy region over which a simple excitation appears, the existence of local variations or intermediate structure with a characteristic energy of about 100 keV, and correlations which might exist between two different simple excitations. The types of simple excitations considered are single-particle states, analogue states, and electric dipole excitation. There is little quantitative information about the gross spreading of single-particle strength despite the successes of the optical model and the popularity of transfer reactions. There may be some evidence for intermediate structure in reported variations of neutron scattering cross-sections, but the interpretation is ambiguous. A convincing and educational example of a single-particle ''doorway'' is given by the Monahan and Elwyn analysis of s-wave neutron resonances in Fe. The fragmentation of an analogue state among the T90Y) can be obtained by studying the more easily seen corresponding analogues (e.g. in 90Zr). Information on the spreading of electric dipole strength can be obtained directly from gamma-ray interaction cross-sections. The non-statistical neutrons emitted from the giant dipole resonance provide guidance for the theoretical description of the resonance. At energies well below the giant resonance there is evidence for substantial intermediate structure. In the same energy region comparisons between (γ, γ) and (γ, Po) cross-sections are particularly sensitive to correlations. Many more relevant experiments will be needed before the spreading of strength and the correlations between different simple excitations are understood. (author)

  12. United Nations deliberations of the use of nuclear power sources in space: 1978-1987

    Bennett, Gary L.; Sholtis, Joseph A., Jr.; Rashkow, Bruce C.

    1988-01-01

    The United Nations (U.N.) is continuing its deliberations on the use of nuclear power sources (NPS) in space. Although no complete set of legal principles has yet been agreed upon, certain scientific and technical criteria for the safe design and use of NPS have been accepted. In this respect, it should be noted that in its 1981 report, the Working Group on the Use of Power Sources in Outer Space concluded that power sources can be used safely in outer space, provided that all necessary safety requirements are met. This is also a succinct statement of the U.S. position.

  13. Space nuclear power studies in France - overview of the Erato program

    A cooperative program about nuclear space power systems has been initiated in 1982 by both CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and CEA (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique) with a view to assessing the feasibility, the lead time, and the cost of nuclear space power systems of the 20 to 400 kWe class. A first study phase, completed in mid 1986, has been devoted to preliminary feasibility and cost studies of a reference 200 kWe turboelectric power system ERATO compatible with the ARIANE V launcher. The present three-year study phase is mainly oriented toward the assessment of the potential advantages of nuclear power systems over solar dynamic and photovoltaic systems, within the 20 kWe power range, which corresponds to the expected power needs of the first european space missions. This paper is intended to give an overview of the present program phase, with emphasis on the design studies dedicated to three concepts of 20 kWe nuclear turboelectric power systems selected for comparison against non nuclear power systems

  14. Determination of Important Nuclear Fragmentation Processes for Human Space Radiation Protection

    Lin, Zi-Wei

    2007-01-01

    We present a semi-analytical method to determine which partial cross sections of nuclear fragmentations most affect the shielded dose equivalent due to exposure to galactic cosmic rays. The cross sections thus determined will require more theoretical and/or experimental studies in order for us to better predict, reduce and mitigate the radiation exposure in human space explorations.

  15. Analysis of nuclear waste disposal in space, phase 3. Volume 1: Executive summary of technical report

    Rice, E. E.; Miller, N. E.; Yates, K. R.; Martin, W. E.; Friedlander, A. L.

    1980-01-01

    The objectives, approach, assumptions, and limitations of a study of nuclear waste disposal in space are discussed with emphasis on the following: (1) payload characterization; (2) safety assessment; (3) health effects assessment; (4) long-term risk assessment; and (5) program planning support to NASA and DOE. Conclusions are presented for each task.

  16. Investigations of IPPE thermophysicists in the field of space nuclear power facilities

    The history of space nuclear power facilities development in IPPE is considered. The main attention is paid to coolant choice; development of demonstration high-temperature lithium benches, acquisition of equipment and safe working methods; working out of physicochemical fundamentals of core coolants use, their technology, study of coolant physicochemical properties

  17. SPACE-R nuclear power system SC-320 thermionic fuel element performance tests

    In 1993 and 1994, the Russian Scientific Research Institute NII NPO ''LUCH'' and Space Power, Inc., (SPI), of San Jose, California, developed a prototype of the single-cell thermionic fuel element (TFE) for the SPACE-R space nuclear power system (NPS). The SPACE-R system was designed as a part of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Space Reactor Development Program to develop a long life, space reactor system capable of supplying up to 40 kW(e) output power. The jointly developed SC-320 TFE is a prototype of the next generation thermionic converter for nuclear applications in space. This paper presents the results of the initial demonstration tests and subsequent parametric evaluations conducted on the SC-320 TFE as compared to the calculated performance characteristics. The demonstration tests were conducted jointly by Russian and American specialists at the Thermionic Evaluation Facility (TEF) at the New Mexico Engineering Research Institute (NMERI) of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque

  18. Nuclear structure theory in spin- and number-conserving quasiparticle configuration spaces: First applications

    Schmid, K.W.; Gruemmer, F.; Faessler, A.

    1984-01-01

    In the first part of the present series of two papers we discussed several nuclear structure models all working in configuration spaces consisting of spin- and number-projected quasiparticle determinants. In the present paper a particular version of the numerically simplest of these models is presented. This model approximates the nuclear wave functions by linear combinations of the angular momentum- and particle number-projected Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov vacuum and the equally spin- and number-projected two quasiparticle excitations with respect to it. The model allows the use of realistic two body interactions and rather large model spaces. It can hence be applied to a large number of nuclear structure problems in various mass regions. First applications have been performed for the nuclei /sup 20/Ne, /sup 22/Ne, /sup 46/Ti, and /sup 164/Er. In all these cases the results are very encouraging.

  19. Application of Recommended Design Practices for Conceptual Nuclear Fusion Space Propulsion Systems

    Williams, Craig H.

    2004-01-01

    An AIAA Special Project Report was recently produced by AIAA's Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Technical Committee and is currently in peer review. The Report provides recommended design practices for conceptual engineering studies of nuclear fusion space propulsion systems. Discussion and recommendations are made on key topics including design reference missions, degree of technological extrapolation and concomitant risk, thoroughness in calculating mass properties (nominal mass properties, weight-growth contingency and propellant margins, and specific impulse), and thoroughness in calculating power generation and usage (power-flow, power contingencies, specific power). The report represents a general consensus of the nuclear fusion space propulsion system conceptual design community and proposes 15 recommendations. This paper expands on the Report by providing specific examples illustrating how to apply each of the recommendations.

  20. Space nuclear power system and the design of the nuclear electric propulsion OTV

    Payload increases of three to five times that of the Shuttle/Centaur can be achieved using nuclear electric propulsion. Various nuclear power plant options being pursued by the SP-100 Program are described. These concepts can grow from 100 kW/sub e/ to 1MW/sub e/ output. Spacecraft design aspects are addressed, including thermal interactions, plume interactions, and radiation fluences. A baseline configuration is described accounting for these issues. Safety aspects of starting the OTV transfer from an altitude of 300 km indicate no significant additional risk to the biosphere

  1. Effluent Containment System for space thermal nuclear propulsion ground test facilities

    NONE

    1995-08-01

    This report presents the research and development study work performed for the Space Reactor Power System Division of the U.S. Department of Energy on an innovative ECS that would be used during ground testing of a space nuclear thermal rocket engine. A significant portion of the ground test facilities for a space nuclear thermal propulsion engine are the effluent treatment and containment systems. The proposed ECS configuration developed recycles all engine coolant media and does not impact the environment by venting radioactive material. All coolant media, hydrogen and water, are collected, treated for removal of radioactive particulates, and recycled for use in subsequent tests until the end of the facility life. Radioactive materials removed by the treatment systems are recovered, stored for decay of short-lived isotopes, or packaged for disposal as waste. At the end of the useful life, the facility will be decontaminated and dismantled for disposal.

  2. Effluent Containment System for space thermal nuclear propulsion ground test facilities

    This report presents the research and development study work performed for the Space Reactor Power System Division of the U.S. Department of Energy on an innovative ECS that would be used during ground testing of a space nuclear thermal rocket engine. A significant portion of the ground test facilities for a space nuclear thermal propulsion engine are the effluent treatment and containment systems. The proposed ECS configuration developed recycles all engine coolant media and does not impact the environment by venting radioactive material. All coolant media, hydrogen and water, are collected, treated for removal of radioactive particulates, and recycled for use in subsequent tests until the end of the facility life. Radioactive materials removed by the treatment systems are recovered, stored for decay of short-lived isotopes, or packaged for disposal as waste. At the end of the useful life, the facility will be decontaminated and dismantled for disposal

  3. Shutdown and degradation: Space computers for nuclear application, verification of radiation hardness. Final report

    (1) Employment of those radiation hard electronics which are already known in military and space applications. (2) The experience in space-flight shall be used to investigate nuclear technology areas, for example, by using space electronics to prove the range of applications in nuclear radiating environments. (3) Reproduction of a computer developed for telecommunication satellites; proof of radiation hardness by radiation tests. (4) At 328 Krad (Si) first failure of radiation tolerant devices with 100 Krad (Si) hardness guaranteed. (5) Using radiation hard devices of the same type you can expect applications at doses of greater than 1 Mrad (Si). Electronic systems applicable for radiation categories D, C and lower part of B for manipulators, vehicles, underwater robotics. (orig.)

  4. Radiation risk from the nuclear power installation of space vehicle in case of reentry to the atmosphere

    Main directions of space using of nuclear power are considered. Nuclear energy has found many applications in space projects. The first application is the use of nuclear energy for the production of electricity in space and the second main application is the use of nuclear power for propulsion purposes in space flight. History of usage nuclear power systems in space technic is shown. Today there are 54 satellites with NPS in space near the Earth. The main principle of radical solution of the problem of radiation safety is based on the accommodation of space objects with nuclear units in orbits, such that the ballistic lifetime is greater than the time necessary for complete decay of the accumulated radioactivity. Radiation safety on various stages of space nuclear systems exploitation is discussed. If Main System Ensuring Radiation Safety is failed, it must operates Reserved System Ensuring Radiation Safety. Concrete development of a booster system for nuclear unit and a system for the reactor destruction in order to ensure aerodynamic destruction of fuel has been realized in satellite of 'Cosmos' series. The investigations on reserved system ensuring radiation safety in Moscow Physical - Engineering Institute are discussed. The results show that we can in principle ensure the radiation safety in accordance to ICRP recommendations. (author)

  5. Design of an Annular Linear Induction Pump for Nuclear Space Applications

    The United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy, Science, and Technology is supporting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in evaluating space mission power, propulsion systems and technologies to support the implementation of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). NASA will need increased power for propulsion and for surface power applications to support both robotic and human space exploration missions. As part of the Fission Surface Power Technology Project for the development of nuclear reactor technologies for multi-mission spacecrafts, an Annular Linear Induction Pump, a type of Electromagnetic Pump for liquid metals, able to operate in space has to be designed. Results of such design work are described as well as the fundamental ideas behind the development of an optimized design methodology. This project, which is a collaboration between Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), involves the use of theoretical, computational and experimental tools for multi-physics analysis as well as advanced engineering design methods and techniques.

  6. Reasons for nuclear forces in light of the constitution of the real space

    Krasnoholovets, Volodymyr

    2011-01-01

    The concept of microstructure of the real space, considered as a mathematical lattice of cells (the tessel-lattice), and notions of canonical particles and fields, which are generated by the space, are analyzed. Submicroscopic mechanics based on this concept is discussed and employed for in-depth study of the nucleon-nucleon interaction. It is argued that a deformation coat is developed in the real space around the nucleon (as is the case with any other canonical particle such as electron, muon, etc.) and that they are the deformation coats that are responsible for the appearance of nuclear forces. One more source of nuclear forces is associated with inerton clouds, excitations of the space tessel-lattice (the excitations are a substructure of nucleons' matter waves), which accompany moving nucleons as in the case of any other canonical particles. Two nuclear systems are under consideration: the deuteron and a weight nucleus. It is shown that a weight nucleus is a cluster of interacting protons and neutrons. ...

  7. Space-time picture of relativistic nuclear collisions and its manifestation in the secondary particle spectra

    High-energy nuclear collision mechanisms are studied and description possibility of these processes space-time pattern within the scope of partial transparency models (PTM), hydrodynamic model (HDM) and internuclear cascade model (INC) is considered. Analysis of theoretical predictions and experemental data for proton inclusive spectra from 12C+12C reaction witn Elab=3.6 GeV/nucleon and angular dependencies of proton yield in this reaction, from 20Ne+20Ne reaction with Elab=2.1 GeV/nucleon within central collision region, is carried out. Universality origin problem of proton inclusive spectra producting in nucleus-nuclear and hadron-nuclear collisions is considered. Compared analysis shows, that PTM, HDM and INC-models explain the rapidity distributions universal behaviour within the target fragmentation region. Description deficiencies of proton spectra universality in the used models are marked. Nuclear system properties, such as excitation and decay of spectator parts of nuclei spectator matter fragmentation, with ∼10 MeV/nucleon are considered. The conducted analysis showed, that proton inclusive spectra in collisions of similar nuclei are sensitive to model effects with collision initial energy rise. This sensitivity manifests especially in the inclusive spectra rapidity representation. It is noted, that the realistic space-time pattern of realistic nuclear collisions is described well by PTM, HDM and INC models

  8. Review of the Tri-Agency Space Nuclear Reactor Power System Technology Program

    The Space Nuclear Reactor Power System Technology Program designated SP-100 was created in 1983 by NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Attention is presently given to the development history of SP-100 over the course of its first year, in which it has been engaged in program objectives definition, the analysis of civil and military missions, nuclear power system functional requirements definition, concept definition studies, the selection of primary concepts for technology feasibility validation, and the acquisition of initial experimental and analytical results

  9. General-purpose heat source project and space nuclear safety fuels program. Progress report, February 1980

    This formal monthly report covers the studies related to the use of 238PuO2 in radioisotopic power systems carried out for the Advanced Nuclear Systems and Projects Division of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. The two programs involved are: General-Purpose Heat Source Development and Space Nuclear Safety and Fuels. Most of the studies discussed here are of a continuing nature. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues. Published reference to the results cited in this report should not be made without the explicit permission of the person in charge of the work

  10. Preliminary risk assessment for nuclear waste disposal in space. Volume I. Executive summary of technical report

    Three major conclusions come from this preliminary risk assessment of nuclear waste disposal in space. Preliminary estimates of space disposal risk are low, even with the estimated uncertainty bounds. If calculated mined geologic repository (MGR) release risks remain low, and the EPA requirements continue to be met, then no additional space disposal study effort is warranted. If risks perceived by the public are significant in the acceptance of mined geologic repositories, then consideration of space disposal as an MGR complement is warranted. As a result of this study, the following recommendations are made to NASA and the US DOE: During the continued evaluation of the mined geologic repository risk over the years ahead by DOE, if any significant increase in the calculated health risk is predicted for the MGR, then space disposal should be reevaluated at that time. The risks perceived by the public for the MGR should be evaluated on a broad basis by an independent organization to evaluate acceptance. If, in the future, MGR risks are found to be significant due to some presently unknown technical or social factor, and space disposal is selected as an alternative that may be useful in mitigating the risks, then the following space disposal study activities are recommended: improvement in chemical processing technology for wastes; payload accident response analysis; risk uncertainty analysis for both MGR and space disposal; health risk modeling that includes pathway and dose estimates; space disposal cost modeling; assessment of space disposal perceived (by public) risk benefit; and space systems analysis supporting risk and cost modeling