Accession Number : ADA337860

Title :   Multi-Megawatt Space Nuclear Power Generation

Corporate Author : BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LAB UPTON NY DEPT OF NUCLEAR ENERGY

Personal Author(s) : Powell, James R.

PDF Url : ADA337860

Report Date : 28 JUN 1993

Pagination or Media Count : 57

Abstract : Capability for multi-megawatt nuclear power generation in space is examined and promising options identified. Nuclear power systems will generate approximately three times as much power as chemical systems, at the same rate of expenditure of consumables. In addition, the nuclear power system exhaust, if used for platform thrust, will have approximately twice the specific impulse of chemical systems. Three reactors options are compared NERVA and two particle bed reactors, the Fixed Bed Reactor (FBR), and the Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR). The particle bed reactors appear to have advantages of much faster startup capability, and reduced concern about reliability and fuel element failure. They also have somewhat smaller size and lower weight, but the benefits are marginal in terms of overall system weight. The FBR appears as the most attractive overall reactor system. It would operate bimodally, generating cw in the hundreds of kW(e) for station keeping, surveillance, defense purposes, etc, and high power, in the hundreds of MW(e), for pulsed energy devices.

Descriptors :   *SPACE TECHNOLOGY, *NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, *GAS COOLED REACTORS, ENERGY CONVERSION, REACTOR SYSTEM COMPONENTS, ELECTRIC POWER PRODUCTION, SPECIFIC IMPULSE, REACTOR CONTROL, CLOSED CYCLE SYSTEMS, SPACECRAFT NUCLEAR PROPULSION.

Subject Categories : Nuclear Fission Reactors(power)
      Astronautics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE