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

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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 ... continued below

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O'Brien, Robert C.; Cook, Steven K.; Jerred, Nathan D.; Howe, Steven D.; Samborsky, Ronald & Brasuell, Daniel September 1, 2012.

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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.

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  • AIAA Space 2012 Conference & Exposition,Pasadena, California,09/11/2012,09/13/2012

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-12-26993
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1076548
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837893

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 2:27 p.m.

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O'Brien, Robert C.; Cook, Steven K.; Jerred, Nathan D.; Howe, Steven D.; Samborsky, Ronald & Brasuell, Daniel. Current Development of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion technologies at the Center for Space Nuclear Research, article, September 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837893/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.