Fuel containment and stability in the gas core nuclear rocket. Final report, April 15, 1993--April 14, 1994

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One of the most promising approaches to advanced propulsion that could meet the objectives of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is the open cycle gas core nuclear rocket (GCR). The energy in this device is generated by a fissioning uranium plasma which heats, through radiation, a propellant that flows around the core and exits through a nozzle, thereby converting thermal energy into thrust. Although such a scheme can produce very attractive propulsion parameters in the form of high specific impulse and high thrust, it does suffer from serious physics and engineering problems that must be addressed if it is to ... continued below

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4 p.

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Kammash, T. February 1, 1996.

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Description

One of the most promising approaches to advanced propulsion that could meet the objectives of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is the open cycle gas core nuclear rocket (GCR). The energy in this device is generated by a fissioning uranium plasma which heats, through radiation, a propellant that flows around the core and exits through a nozzle, thereby converting thermal energy into thrust. Although such a scheme can produce very attractive propulsion parameters in the form of high specific impulse and high thrust, it does suffer from serious physics and engineering problems that must be addressed if it is to become a viable propulsion system. Among the major problems that must be solved are the confinement of the uranium plasma, potential instabilities and control problems associated with the dynamics of the uranium core, and the question of startup and fueling of such a reactor. In this paper, the authors focus their attention on the problems of equilibria and stability of the uranium care, and examine the potential use of an externally applied magnetic field for these purposes. They find that steady state operation of the reactor is possible only for certain care profiles that may not be compatible with the radiative aspect of the system. The authors also find that the system is susceptible to hydrodynamic and acoustic instabilities that could deplete the uranium fuel in a short time if not properly suppressed.

Physical Description

4 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE96008737

Medium: P; Size: 4 p.

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  • 23. biennial conference of the Institute for Briquetting and Agglomeration, Seattle, WA (United States), Oct 1993

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  • Other: DE96008737
  • Report No.: DOE/ER/75869--1
  • Report No.: CONF-9310450--Final
  • Grant Number: FG02-93ER75869
  • DOI: 10.2172/212575 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 212575
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc668818

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • February 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • April 13, 2017, 12:21 p.m.

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Kammash, T. Fuel containment and stability in the gas core nuclear rocket. Final report, April 15, 1993--April 14, 1994, report, February 1, 1996; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc668818/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.