Feasibility of Ground Testing a Moon and Mars Surface Power Reactor in EBR-II

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Ground testing of a surface fission power system would be necessary to verify the design and validate reactor performance to support safe and sustained human exploration of the Moon and Mars. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has several facilities that could be adapted to support a ground test. This paper focuses on the feasibility of ground testing at the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) facility and using other INL existing infrastructure to support such a test. This brief study concludes that the INL EBR-II facility and supporting infrastructure are a viable option for ground testing the surface power system. It ... continued below

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Morton, Sheryl; Baily, Carl; Hill, Tom & Werner, Jim February 1, 2006.

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Ground testing of a surface fission power system would be necessary to verify the design and validate reactor performance to support safe and sustained human exploration of the Moon and Mars. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has several facilities that could be adapted to support a ground test. This paper focuses on the feasibility of ground testing at the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) facility and using other INL existing infrastructure to support such a test. This brief study concludes that the INL EBR-II facility and supporting infrastructure are a viable option for ground testing the surface power system. It provides features and attributes that offer advantages to locating and performing ground testing at this site, and it could support the National Aeronautics and Space Administration schedules for human exploration of the Moon. This study used the initial concept examined by the U.S. Department of Energy Inter-laboratory Design and Analysis Support Team for surface power, a lowtemperature, liquid-metal, three-loop Brayton power system. With some facility modification, the EBR-II can safely house a test chamber and perform long-term testing of the space reactor power system. The INL infrastructure is available to receive and provide bonded storage for special nuclear materials. Facilities adjacent to EBR-II can provide the clean room environment needed to assemble and store the test article assembly, disassemble the power system at the conclusion of testing, and perform posttest examination. Capability for waste disposal is also available at the INL.

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  • Space and Technology and Applications International Forum 2006,Albuquerque, New Mexico,02/12/2006,02/16/2006

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-05-00768
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911175
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc879763

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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.

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  • February 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 6:25 p.m.

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Morton, Sheryl; Baily, Carl; Hill, Tom & Werner, Jim. Feasibility of Ground Testing a Moon and Mars Surface Power Reactor in EBR-II, article, February 1, 2006; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc879763/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.