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PM-1 Nuclear Power Plant Program: 4th Quarterly Progress Report, December 1, 1959-February 29, 1960

Description: From abstract: The principal efforts during the fourth project quarter were the near-completion of the final design and preparation of specifications for plant components. Reactor development work included final preparations for the flexible zero-power test (PMZ-1) program and revised fuel element irradiation test program, continuation of reactor flow test, further work on heat transfer test program, and final design and fabrication of the prototype magnetic jack-type control rod actuators.
Date: April 5, 1960
Creator: Martin Company. Nuclear Division.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PM-1 Nuclear Power Plant Program Parametric Study Report

Description: The study deals with narrowing the range of parameters prior to preliminary design of the PM-1, a factory prepackaged, air-transportable, pressurized water nuclear power plant. The plant is to produce 1000 kw of net electrical power and 7 x 10/sup 6/ Btu/hr of space heat that is suitable for use with a central heating system. The data and conclusions resulting from the parametric study will provide the basis for the preliminary design of the PM-1 power plant. (W.D.M.)
Date: September 1, 1959
Creator: Sieg, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preliminary Operationai Hazards Summary Report for the Task 2 Thermoelectric Generator

Description: The operational hazards associated with the use of an isotope-fueled auxiliary power unit for a satellite mission are described. The effects of missile about on the generator are discussed. The generator design is described, and the properties of the various fuel forms are investigated. The characteristics of the fuel capsules and the provisions for biological shielding are also described. Integration of the generator into a typical missile system is discussed. Hazards and procedures of transporting and handling the fuel cores from fabrication to launchlng are considered. Aborted missions are defined, and the forces acting on the generator during abort are described. (W.D.M.)
Date: December 1, 1959
Creator: Dix, G. P., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preliminary Operational Safety Report for the Task 5.6 Thermoelectric Generator

Description: The operational hazards associated with the use of a plutonium-fueled thermoelectric generator in a terrestrial satellite are evaluated. It appears that the plutonium fuel can be consumed and dispersed at high altitude during reentry, following a successful mission. As an alternative, however, since the fuel (Pu/sup 238/) is an alpha emitter with a long half life, it appears that random intant recntry following a suceessful mission is feasible. As a precaution against aborted missions, the launch azimuth should be over water as much as possible to avoid impact or dispersion in areas of signifieant population density. It is recommended that the fuel and generators be transported by air carrier to preclude local restrictions of ground transport and to provide better statistical safety. The transport phase poses a very minor safety problem. (auth)
Date: May 1, 1960
Creator: Knighton, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preliminary Safety Analysis Low Power Cerium-144 Generator

Description: A safety analysis of small Ce/sup 144/ fueled thermoelectric generators for use in terrestrial satellite systems is given. The Ce/sup 144/ fuel is enclosed in a capsule of Haynes25, which is to be maintained at 580 deg C during operation. Lead telluride thermoelectric elements surround the capsule and are contained in an outer stainless steel shell. In one configuration a second shell filled with Hg is used for biological shielding. The biological shield reduces the direct radiation dose from decay gammas and bremsstrahlung to 90 mr/hr at 3 ft. The integrity of the fuel capsule under the spectrum of launch failure forces is considered. These forces include internal pressure, external forces from shock overpressures and impact, corrosion, and propellant fires. Following successful missions, the fuel is to be released in the stratosphere at a time when the source strength is about 4000 c. Resultant ground concentrations would be 2 x 10-/sup 9/c/sq mile and 0.053 mc/sq km for temperate zone and prompt stratospheric releases, respectively. (C.J.G.)
Date: June 1, 1960
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radioactive Materials Laboratory Safety Report, Martin Nuclear Facility, Quehanna Site

Description: A description is given of the safety features and the major alterations to be performed prior to occupancy. The evaluation was made in support of fubrication work on the production of safe isotopic power sources from Cm/sup 242/ and Sr/sup 90/. The chemical, nuclear, and radiobiological properties of Cm/sup 242/ and Sr/sup 90/ are outlined. The projected physical fiow of materials for production of the isotopic power souroes is schematically given. An evaluation of the malfunctions, operational hazards, and remedial health physics procedures is presented. The analysis and evaluation of postulated maximum credible incidents are demonstrated. (B.O.G.)
Date: September 1, 1960
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP 7 Program--Task 8--Strontium-90 Fueled Thermoelectric Generator Development. Quarterly Report No. 6, February 1 Through April 30, 1962

Description: Manufacture, assembly, and pararmetric testing of the first 60-watt thermoelectric generator were completed. All of the Sr-90 fuel process equipment was installed. Equipment checkouts and process dry runs have indicated a number of problems. The problems will probably cause a slight delay in hot operation; however, it is expected that schedule commitments in completing the fuel for the SNAP-7B system will be met. The power output of the Coast Guard SNAP-7A system is decreasing much faster than anticipated. A comparison of power output and hot and cold junction temperature readings with parametric operational data shows that the generator is performing as predicted. A plot of the decay in hot junction temperature (cold junction temperature approximately constant) indicates that the isotope fuel had too much Sr-89 and, therefore, too little Sr- 90. Restoration would consist of changing the high conducting inert gas, helium, to a mixture of helium and argon which has better thermal insulating properties. (auth)
Date: October 31, 1962
Creator: McDonald, W. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP 7 Program Task 8--Strontium-90 Fueled Thermoelectric Generator Development. Quarterly Progress Report No. 3, May 1, 1961 Through July 31, 1961

Description: The SNAP 7 program is being conducted for the purpose of developing 4 radioisotope fueled thermoelectric power generation systems. An important phase of this program is the processing of Sr/sup 90/ into heat sources for these systems. The thermoelectric reliability breadboard model and the operating model of the 10-watt thermoelectric generator were assembled and prepared for tests. The SNAP 7B and 7D 60-watt thermoelectric generators were designed, materials were received, and fabrication of components was initiated. Fuel process engineering, nuclear chemistry audit, and manufacturing fuel processing equipment achievements are discussed. (M.C.G.)
Date: October 31, 1962
Creator: West, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP 7 Program--Task 8--Strontium-90 Fueled Thermoelectric Generator Development. Quarterly Progress Report No. 5, November 1, 1961 to January 31, 1962

Description: The SNAP 7A battery and converter were subjected to the required shock, vibration and temperature teats. The generator was fueled, postfueling radiation levels were checked and the generator was integrated into the complete SNAP 7A system. After the completion of acceptance tests, the SNAP 7A system was installed in a buoy which, in turn, was anchored in the bay where it will be subjected to further evaluation. The SNAP 7C generator was shipped for transport to Antarctica. The generator will power a five-watt U. S. Navy remote weather station. Tests were also conducted to determine the operational characteristics of SNAP 7B and 7D thermoelectric couples. Also, the reliability model of the generator was operated at high temperature for 23 days. The electrical, converter and battery specifications for the SNAP 7D system were completed and released. The primary effort in the fael processing phase of the program was to provide the necessary liaison with the personnel installing the processing equipment. Maintenance and checkout guides were written to assure satisfactory installation and continued performance throughout the fuel processing span. An operation procedure guide was written to describe the engineering concept of the fuel processing operation. The guide was written for the personnel who will be conducting the fuel processing operation. (auth)
Date: October 31, 1962
Creator: McDonald, W. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP I--Dynamic Mercury Loop Tests of Selected Materials. Period Covered : January 1957-June 1959

Description: Six dynamic boiling-mercury loops were tested in connection with the SNAP-I program. The loops were Croloy-5 Si, Croloy-5 Ti, Carpenter 20 Nb, Types 347 and 446 stainless steel and a Type 347 stainless-steel-clad niobium boiler coil inserted into the Type 347 stainless-steel loop. Operation of the Croloy-5 Si loop was discontinued after about 86 hr because the heaters bured out. Extensive general corrosion which penetrated as much as 3.5 mils occurred during this time. The boiler-outlet leg of the Croloy-5 Ti loop ruptured after l66 hr of operation. Again, extensive general corrosion occurred with up to 5 mils penetration. The Carpenter 20 Nb loop was never operated at design conditions. It failed after a short time when arcing from the heater to the coil burned through the tubing. The Type 347 stainless-steel loop failed after 326 hr when the outlet leg of the boiler coil ruptured. Extensive depletion of nickel with penetrations up to 20 mils was found in the condenser. The Type 446 stainless- steel loop did not fail. Its operation was discontinued after 141 hr because of multiple leaks. Numerous transgranular cracks were found in the boiler coil, but the origin of these cracks was problematical. The remainder of this loop was apparently unaffected. The niobium coil ruptured after 50 hr of operation. The failure was probably caused by atmospheric oxygen, which contacted the niobium when the Type 347 stainless-steel cladding failed. Successful operating experiences involving two-phase mercury flow and totalling more than 500 hr were obtained using Type 316 stainlesssteel tubiug. Operating conditions for the mercury working fluid at the inlet of this tubing were 200 psia and 1100 to 1350 deg F. (auth)
Date: March 1, 1960
Creator: McGrew, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP I Mercury Boiler Development, January 1957 to June 1959

Description: The mercury-boiler development program was undertaken to develop a system that would utilize the heat of radioisotope decay to boil and superheat mercury vapor for use with a small turbine-generator package. Through the use of a Rankine cycle, the mercury vapor can be provided continuously to power a turbine-driven alternator and produce electricity for extended periods of time. This mercury boiler and the related power-conversion system was planned for a satellite that would orbit the earth. This system design and development program was designated as SNAP-I. Development of the mercury boiler is described and a chronological description of the various mercury-boiler concepts is presented. The applicable results of an extensive literature survey of mercury are included. The mercury-boiler experimental-test-program description provides complete coverage of each experimental boiler and its relation to the system design of that period. A summary of all mercury boilers and their final disposition is also given. (auth)
Date: June 1, 1960
Creator: Jicha, J. & Keenan, J. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP I Radioisotope-Fueled Turboelectric Power Conversion System Summary, January 1957 to June 1959

Description: The SNAP I development program was initiated to develop a 500-watt turboelectric power conversion system for space applications, Superheated mercury vapor was used as the heat conversion working fluid. The conversion system was to obtain thermal energy from the decay of a radioisotope fuel such as Ce/sup 144/ . Each of the major components and systems is summarized with respect to initial design objectives, development progress to the point of program termination, results obtained from tests and, where indicated, future growth potential. Reference is made to 10 other reports which describe, in detail, the major components of this power generating system. Also included is a bibliography of documented reports that are related to the power conversion system design criteria or system integration into a flight vehicle. (auth)
Date: June 1, 1960
Creator: Dick, P. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP III--Thermoelectric Generator Environmental Test. Volume 2

Description: The thermoelectric generator operated for about 250 hr during the entire test program. The efficiency varied approximately 5% of the total performance during the vibration cycle, and remained relatively stable during the acceleration and shock tests. Recovery was complete in all cases. Oscillatory d-c superimposed on the d-c output of the generator was observed durlng the shock and vibratlon tests, and dlsappeared when the environmental forces were discontinued. The maximum d-c ripple was 7.4 mlllivolts rms in the y-Plane durlng the shock and vibratlon cycles. It was concluded that SNAP III thermoelectric generator No. 1G5 is reliable in environments simulating the WS- 117 L Vehicle. (auth)
Date: October 1, 1959
Creator: Gross, L. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP-III--Thermoelectric Generator Environmental Test

Description: The effects of simulated space vehicle vibration, acceleration and shock on the operation and efficiency of a SNAP-III thermoelectric generator are described. The test specifications were developed by Jet Propulsion Laboratories for the third stage and payload of the Vega Vehicle. (auth)
Date: August 1, 1959
Creator: Gross, L. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP-III--Thermoelectric Generator Environmental Test. Volume 3

Description: The results of tests on four thermoelectric generators (two each of two different configurations) of the Snap III type to both the J.P.L. and the L.M.S.D. specifications for shock, vibration. and acceleration test are reported. The simulated levels were based on the anticipated environments of the Vega (J.P.L.) and WS117L (L.M.S.D.) systems. All four generators exhibited the same characteristic behavior pattern throughout the vibration portion of the test prograna, showing a d-c ripple in the generator output only in the Y place. This behavior of the generator is attributed to the oscillatory change in internal resistance resulting from vibratory elastic deformation of the thermoelectric elements. This produces a transient in the electrical output with a resultant reduction in generator efficiency. The maximum reduction in efficiency was noted in the 700 cps region. A resonance on the generator shell at 1845 cps was noted, but generator electrical output and efficiency were not affected. Upon discontinuance of the induced vibration, the generators returned to normal operating conditions. While undergoing shock test, a d-c transient was noted at the time of impact, resulting in a slight decrease in effi ciency. The generators immediately returned to their normal operating efficiency. In the acceleration portion of the test no d-c transient was evident in any of the three planes, therefore the generator efficiency remained constant. Steady state conditions were re-established at the start of each new test phase (i.e., changing planes of excitation, changing from shock to vibration, etc.). Thus, any variation from pretest efficiency was attributed to the external load resistance becoming umnatched due to the change in internal resistance. The important result is that complete generator recovery was consistent in all cases and normal operation continued The generator, shell, internal structure and pressure, and the hot and cold junction temperature were not affected ...
Date: January 1, 1960
Creator: Gross, L. W. & Schramm, E. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP-III--Thermoelectric Generator Radiological Safety Analysis

Description: A radiological safety analysis is presented for the SNAP-III thermoelectric generator. Since the fuel of the device is polonium-210, a toxic radioisotope, certain safety measures have been designed into the device and its shipping container to prevent a release of the contaminant into any environment during normal operation or a catastrophic accident. Once containment is assured, the direct radiation problem is considered. It has been shown that the direct radiation from the thermal source is kept within tolerance limits by surrounding materials and spatial and temporal factors. It must be emphasized that this device should not be deliberately abused or mishandled since this would serve to increase the probability of accident. The device has been evaluated with respect to internal forces such as heat and helium pressure and external forces such as impact and chemical attack. The mechanical thermal and chemical integrity of the thermoelectric generator is shown to be quite reliable. The basic physical, chemical, thermal, atomic and nuclear characteristics of polonium-210 have been presented. Potential internal and external radiation hazards have been set forth. (auth)
Date: February 1, 1959
Creator: Dix, G. P.; Dobry, T. J., Jr. & Guinn, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP-III--Thermoelectric Generator Safe Handling Procedures

Description: A method for the safe handling of the SNAP-III thermoelectric generators is presented. It provides information regarding shipping regulations, general handling instructions for packing, unpacking, and demonstrating the device, and procedures to follow in an event of an accident. Possible hszards involved in handling the device, and the probability of any of these hazardous incidents occurring while it is being demonstrated, are summarized. Containment of the radioisotope fuel used in the SNAP-III device was assured under rigorous conditions, including short time external thermal temperature excursions to 1600 deg C, when in the shipping container. The probability of the device encountering such temperatures are remote. (auth)
Date: April 1, 1959
Creator: Dobry, T. J., Jr. & Guinn, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP III Final Performance Test Summary

Description: SNAP III, a 3- to 5-watt electrical generator, was designed as a proof- of-principle device in the development of radioisotope-powered thermoelectric power-conversion systems. A program involving five development areas was employed in achieving this aim. These areas were: (1) generator development, fuel encapsulation, and handling techniques; (2) system safety studies; (3) system dynamic tests; (4) system parametric performance tests; and (5) system life tests. Particular attention was given to fuel encapsulation and handling techniques, system safety studies, system parametric performance tests, and system life tests. (auth)
Date: August 1, 1960
Creator: Long, J. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP Programs. Quarterly Progress Report No. 3 for April 1 through June 30, 1960

Description: Design studies were made for the cooling, shielding, and electrical- control support systems required for the testing of the isotope-fueled 125-w generator in a hot-cell facility. A ceric oxide fuel containing 10 wt.% SiC exhibited suitable burn-up characteristics in simulated postorbital re-entry heating conditions. Inconel X was selected as the fuelcontainment material. Negative pitch angle injections were evaluated for the injection-stage flight vehicle. The second electrically heated 125-w generator was assembled and prepared for checkout. A successful reproducible process for bonding the p element was developed in which GeTe was furnace melted into an iron shoe and a spring-loaded element was bonded to the shoe in an induction furnace. The p element contact resistance was 0.1 milliohm. The maximum output on the first generator was measured as 78.2 w. Measurements were stopped when power output deteriorated to 28.8 w. An inspection showed that oxidation due to insufficient reducing atmosphere at the hot junction contacts was the cause. Parametric thermoelectric generator performance tests were conducted in which the internal gas pressure was varied from 0 to 1.5 atm. and the external pressure was either 1 atm. or a vacuum. The fabrication, operation, and penformance of cesium diodes were studied. The effect of a molybdenum powder film on heat transfer when placed in a molybdenum--tungsten interface was determined. In development studies on a low-power thermionic generator, cathode and sapphiresuppcnt creep tests were conducted up to 500 deg C, at which temperature no creep was observed. The design of Generator 2A was completed. A heater was developed for the generators which is capable of simulating the power density of a Cm/sup 242/ heat source. A titanium alloy, A-70, was found which possessed satisfactory properties for use as a lead-through at 1050 deg C. A method of electrically insulating the two stages of a ...
Date: October 31, 1961
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP Programs. M-1 Monte Carlo Radioisotope Shielding Code. Final Report

Description: The M-1 code is a Monte Carlo code that applies to cylindrical geometry when solving for the flux from a pre specified radiation source. The source is a gamma and beta emitter and the solution is for the flux of each energy group and of each region of interest in regard to the emitter. A region is a volume of the system bounded by two planes perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and two cylinders (one cylinder if the region includes the axis of symmetry). The code can be used to solve for a maximum of 30 energy groups and 280 regions. The M-1 is coded in Fortran for a 32,000-word 7090 and requires that the energy intervals be prespecified as well as a complete description of the geometry of the system. A specification of materials in the system must also be given. The number of particles to be followed must be specified by the user. Since the technique of splitting can be employed here and so that splitting can occur, a description of the manner in which the system is divided (geometrically) must also be given by the user. A detailed description of the input required by the code is included. The dose per unit volume due to bremsstrahlung gammas for each prespecified region, and due to nonbremsstrahlung gammas for each prespecified region can be computed by the code. The total dose per unit volume for each prespecified region and the number of mean free paths traveled per second in each prespecified region for each energy group can also be computed along with the gamma flux for each prespecified region and for each energy group and the region volume associated with these parameters. (auth)
Date: May 1, 1962
Creator: Kniedler, M. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP Programs. Quarterly Progress Report No. 1 for October 22-December 31, 1959

Description: An analysis was made of the SNAP III generator to determine the cause of failure, and the test specifications were revised in line with the findings. During calibration and demonstration runs with the SNAP III-A generator, a leak developed in the valving mechanism of the variable heatdump system. An examination disclosed that the valve was not satisfactory, so the generator was returned to the manufacturer for repair. A description is given of the generator, along with a performance evaluation program. A discussion is given of the work performed in advancing the technology of thermionic converters, specifically to increase efficiency by developing better emitter and collector materials and by reducing heat losses. Investigations were made in the areas of cesium diodes, effects of cesium on materials, electrical heaters, diffusion of gases through metals, and work function tests. Work done on the development of low-power thermionic generators included prototype development, heat-transfer studies and tests, vacuum tests in prototype shells, cathode and sapphire creep tests, metals, and work function tests. Work done on the development of low- power thermionic generators included prototype development, heat-transfer studies and tests, vacuum tests in prototype shells, cathode and sapphire creep tests, a parametric study, the development of molybdenum fuel capsules, heliarc welding of molybdenum fuel capsules, hazards studies on Ce/sup 144/ thermionic units, iabrication of a containment cask for Ce/sup 144/ units, and tueling molybdenum capsules with Ce/sup 144/ pellets. Investigations were made of the operational capabilities of SNAP-III type generators through tests simulating the anticipated environments to obtain information for conceptual designs to produce 2 to 5 watts of electrical power. Accomplishments in the development of a 1-watt nuclear power supply include the establishment of the over-all generator configuration, the sizing and arrangement of the Pu/sup 238/ fuel, the analysis for helium pressure build-up within the ...
Date: November 1, 1960
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SNAP Programs. Quarterly Progress Report No. 4 for July 1 through September 30, 1960. Subtask 5.3 and Task 6

Description: Generator 2A the design of which was completed last quarter, was fabricated and electrically tested. The generator met all significant design requirements with the exception of the collector work function. During the preparations for environmental tests one of the leadthroughs falled. Metallographic examination revealed that it is necessary to make some design revisions of the leadthrough. Generator 2A was an experimental unit which led to the design of generator 2B. Specifically, the conclusions obtained from 2A confirmed certain processing methods applicable to future units. The latter unit includes provisions for remote control fueling, and its operation should attain anticipated performance characteristics (P/sub o/, w, T/sub e/, T/sub c/ and life). Critical areas of design, construction, and processing of 2B include the facillty for remote control fueling, the attainment of close interelectrode spacing and low collector work function, and the achievement of a rugged genenator. Accordingly, a vigorous theoretical and experimental approach was undertaken. A life test on generator lA was initiated and over 2100 hr of operating time was accumulated. The emitter was not aged prior to incorporation into the generator; as a result, the evaporation of barium from the emitter eventually reduced the diode internal resistance to the point where it was no longer feasible to continue the life test. The procedures for fueling a thermionic generator with a Cm/sup 242/ heat source were established. An activation device in which a work function of approximately 1.9 volts was achieved was designed, fabricated, and tested. These same techniques can be incorporated in a practical generator design. Following this test, the preliminary design of generator 2B was established, and development on the design was initiated. To date, considerable progress has been made in the development of purification processes for gram quantities of americium and curium. Design, fabrication, and installation of experimental ...
Date: October 31, 1961
Creator: Harvey, R. & Bowes, W. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Upper Atmosphere Re-Entry Study High Altitude Burnup. Volume 2

Description: Methods of determining the fate of radioactive fuels in space power units burned up on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere are reviewed. Particulate characteristics experiments were derived from an analytical study on the ablation of Dlutonium fuel. This study revealed that the particulate size distribution resulting on re-entry burnup is a function of: the fuel form in use and the material velocity and atmospheric density at the time the fuel is exposed. The particulate fate experiments were derived essentially from studies of the effects of thermal and turbulent diffusion, and wind and gravity dispersion on the particulate cloud. The experiments recommended are described. (M.C.G.)
Date: January 1, 1961
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department