Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Webb, Jonathan A. & Gross, Brian
Description: Abstract. A conceptual reactor system to support Multi-Megawatt Nuclear Electric Propulsion is investigated within this paper. The reactor system consists of a helium cooled Tungsten-UN fission core, surrounded by a beryllium neutron reflector and 13 B4C control drums coupled to a high temperature Brayton power conversion system. Excess heat is rejected via carbon reinforced heat pipe radiators and the gamma and neutron flux is attenuated via segmented shielding consisting of lithium hydride and tungsten layers. Turbine inlet temperatures ranging from 1300 K to 1500 K are investigated for their effects on specific powers and net electrical outputs ranging from 1 MW to 100 MW. The reactor system is estimated to have a mass, which ranges from 15 Mt at 1 MWe and a turbine inlet temperature of 1500 K to 1200 Mt at 100 MWe and a turbine temperature of 1300 K. The reactor systems specific mass ranges from 32 kg/kWe at a turbine inlet temperature of 1300 K and a power of 1 MWe to 9.5 kg/kW at a turbine temperature of 1500 K and a power of 100 MWe.
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