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Description: Nuclear power has been considered for space applications since the 1960s. Between 1955 and 1972 the US built and tested over twenty nuclear reactors/ rocket-engines in the Rover/NERVA programs. However, changes in environmental laws may make the redevelopment of the nuclear rocket more difficult. Recent advances in fuel fabrication and testing options indicate that a nuclear rocket with a fuel form significantly different from NERVA may be needed to ensure public support. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) is pursuing development of tungsten based fuels for use in a NTR, for a surface power reactor, and to encapsulate radioisotope power sources. The CSNR Summer Fellows program has investigated the feasibility of several missions enabled by the NTR. The potential mission benefits of a nuclear rocket, historical achievements of the previous programs, and recent investigations into alternatives in design and materials for future systems will be discussed.
Date: September 1, 2001
Creator: O'Brien, Robert C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Rocket Test Facility Decommissioning Including Controlled Explosive Demolition of a Neutron-Activated Shield Wall

Description: Located in Area 25 of the Nevada Test Site, the Test Cell A Facility was used in the 1960s for the testing of nuclear rocket engines, as part of the Nuclear Rocket Development Program. The facility was decontaminated and decommissioned (D&D) in 2005 using the Streamlined Approach For Environmental Restoration (SAFER) process, under the Federal Facilities Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO). Utilities and process piping were verified void of contents, hazardous materials were removed, concrete with removable contamination decontaminated, large sections mechanically demolished, and the remaining five-foot, five-inch thick radiologically-activated reinforced concrete shield wall demolished using open-air controlled explosive demolition (CED). CED of the shield wall was closely monitored and resulted in no radiological exposure or atmospheric release.
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: Kruzic, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Materials Technology Support for Radioisotope Power Systems Final Report

Description: Over the period of this sponsored research, UDRI performed a number of materials related tasks that helped to facilitate increased understanding of the properties and applications of a number of candidate program related materials including; effects of neutron irradiation on tantalum alloys using a 500kW reactor, thermodynamic based modeling of the chemical species in weld pools, and the application of candidate coatings for increased oxidation resistance of FWPF (Fine Weave Pierced Fabric) modules.
Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Kramer, Daniel P. & Barklay, Chadwick D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Thermoelectric Materials for Efficient Waste Heat Recovery in Process Industries

Description: The overall objective of the project was to integrate advanced thermoelectric materials into a power generation device that could convert waste heat from an industrial process to electricity with an efficiency approaching 20%. Advanced thermoelectric materials were developed with figure-of-merit ZT of 1.5 at 275 degrees C. These materials were not successfully integrated into a power generation device. However, waste heat recovery was demonstrated from an industrial process (the combustion exhaust gas stream of an oxyfuel-fired flat glass melting furnace) using a commercially available (5% efficiency) thermoelectric generator coupled to a heat pipe. It was concluded that significant improvements both in thermoelectric material figure-of-merit and in cost-effective methods for capturing heat would be required to make thermoelectric waste heat recovery viable for widespread industrial application.
Date: January 6, 2009
Creator: Polcyn, Adam & Khaleel, Moe
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Removal of Pu238 from Neptunium Solution by Anion Exchange

Description: A new anion flowsheet for use in HB-Line was tested in the lab with Reillex{trademark} HPQ for removal of Pu{sup 238} contamination from Np. Significant rejection of Pu{sup 238} was observed by washing with 6 to 12 bed volumes (BV) of reductive wash containing reduced nitric acid concentration along with both ferrous sulfamate (FS) and hydrazine. A shortened-height column was utilized in these tests to match changes in the plant equipment. Lab experiments scaled to plant batch sizes of 1500 to 2200 g Np were observed with modest losses for up-flow washing. Down-flow washing was observed to have high losses. The following are recommended conditions for removing Pu{sup 238} from Np solutions by anion exchange in HB-Line: (1) Feed conditions: Up-flow 6.4-8 M HNO{sub 3}, 0.02 M hydrazine, 0.05 M excess FS, less than 5 days storage of solution after FS addition. (2) Reductive Wash conditions: Up-flow 6-12 BV of 6.4 M HNO{sub 3}, 0.05 M FS, 0.05 M hydrazine. 1.8 mL/min/cm{sup 2} flowrate. (3) Decontamination Wash conditions: Up-flow 1-2 BV of 6.4-8 M HNO{sub 3}, no FS, no hydrazine. (4) Elution conditions: Down-flow 0.17 M HNO{sub 3}, 0.05 M hydrazine, no FS.
Date: December 1, 2003
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Revised Thermal Analysis of LANL Ion Exchange Column

Description: This document updates a previous calculation of the temperature distributions in a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) ion exchange column.1 LANL operates two laboratory-scale anion exchange columns, in series, to extract Pu-238 from nitric acid solutions. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has requested an updated analysis to calculate maximum temperatures for higher resin loading capacities obtained with a new formulation of the Reillex HPQ anion exchange resin. The increased resin loading capacity will not exceed 118 g plutonium per L of resin bed. Calculations were requested for normal operation of the resin bed at the minimum allowable solution feed rate of 30 mL/min and after an interruption of flow at the end of the feed stage, when one of the columns is fully loaded. The object of the analysis is to demonstrate that the decay heat from the Pu-238 will not cause resin bed temperatures to increase to a level where the resin significantly degrades. At low temperatures, resin bed temperatures increase primarily due to decay heat. At {approx}70 C a Low Temperature Exotherm (LTE) resulting from the reaction between 8-12 M HNO{sub 3} and the resin has been observed. The LTE has been attributed to an irreversible oxidation of pendant ethyl benzene groups at the termini of the resin polymer chains by nitric acid. The ethyl benzene groups are converted to benzoic acid moities. The resin can be treated to permanently remove the LTE by heating a resin suspension in 8M HNO{sub 3} for 30-45 minutes. No degradation of the resin performance is observed after the LTE removal treatment. In fact, heating the resin in boiling ({approx}115-120 C) 12 M HNO{sub 3} for 3 hr displays thermal stability analogous to resin that has been treated to remove the LTE. The analysis is based on a previous study of ...
Date: April 11, 2006
Creator: Laurinat, J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Materials Science and Technology has evaluated materials compatibility for the SNAP (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power) fuel for containment within a 9975 packaging assembly for a shipping period of one year. The evaluation included consideration for potential for water within the convenience can, corrosion from water, galvanic corrosion, tape degradation, and thermal expansion risk. Based on a review of existing literature and assumed conditions, corrosion and/or degradation of the 304 stainless steel (SS) Primary Containment Vessel (PCV) and the 304 stainless steel convenience cans containing the SNAP fuel is not significant to cause failure during the 1 year time shipping period in the 9975 packaging assembly. However, storage beyond the 1 year shipping period has not been validated.
Date: November 14, 2006
Creator: Vormelker, P
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Nuclear Material Management (NMM) completed a comprehensive study at the request of the Department of Energy Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SR) in 2004 (Reference 11.1). The study evaluated the feasibility of removal and/or mitigation of the Pu-238 source term in the F-Area Material Storage (FAMS) facility during on-going material storage operations. The study recommended different options to remove and/or mitigate the Pu-238 source term depending on its location within the facility. During April 2005, the Department of Energy (DOE) sent a letter of direction (LOD) to Washington Savannah River Company (WSRC) directing WSRC to implement a new program direction that would enable an accelerated shutdown and decommissioning of FAMS (Reference 11.2). Further direction in the LOD stated that effective December 1, 2006 the facility will be transitioned to begin deactivation and decommissioning (D&D) activities. To implement the LOD, Site D&D (SDD) and DOE agreed the planning end-state would be demolition of the FAMS structure to the building slab. SDD developed the D&D strategy, preliminary cost and schedule, and issued the deactivation project plan in December 2005 (Reference 11.3). Due to concerns and questions regarding the FAMS planning end-state and in support of the project's Critical Decision 1, an alternative study was performed to evaluate the various decommissioning end-states and the methods by which those end-states are achieved. This report documents the results of the alternative evaluation which was performed in a structured decision-making process as outlined in the E7 Manual, Procedure 2.15, ''Alternative Studies'' (Reference 11.4).
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Grimm, B; Stephen Chostner, S & Brenda Green, B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radiological Contingency Planning for the Mars Science Laboratory Launch

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides technical support to the requesting federal agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Defense, the National Space and Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), or a state agency to address the radiological consequences of an event. These activities include measures to alleviate damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused by the incident; protect public health and safety; restore essential government services; and provide emergency assistance to those affected. Scheduled to launch in the fall of 2009, Mars Science Laboratory is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Mars Science Laboratory is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet's "habitability." The Mars Science Laboratory rover will carry a radioisotope power system that generates electricity from the heat of plutonium's radioactive decay. This power source gives the mission an operating lifespan on Mars' surface of a full Martian year (687 Earth days) or more, while also providing significantly greater mobility and operational flexibility, enhanced science payload capability, and exploration of a much larger range of latitudes and altitudes than was possible on previous missions to Mars. National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec), based in Las Vegas, Nevada, will support the DOE in its role for managing the overall radiological contingency planning support effort. This paper will focus on new technologies that NSTec is developing to enhance the overall response capability that would be required for a highly unlikely anomaly. This paper presents recent advances in collecting and collating data transmitted from deployed teams and sensors. NSTec is responsible to prepare the contingency planning for a range of areas from monitoring and assessment, sample ...
Date: March 1, 2008
Creator: Guss, Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Rocket Facility Decommissioning Project: Controlled Explosive Demolition of Neutron-Activated Shield Wall

Description: Located in Area 25 of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), the Test Cell A (TCA) Facility (Figure 1) was used in the early to mid-1960s for testing of nuclear rocket engines, as part of the Nuclear Rocket Development Program, to further space travel. Nuclear rocket testing resulted in the activation of materials around the reactors and the release of fission products and fuel particles. The TCA facility, known as Corrective Action Unit 115, was decontaminated and decommissioned (D&D) from December 2004 to July 2005 using the Streamlined Approach for Environmental Restoration (SAFER) process, under the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order. The SAFER process allows environmental remediation and facility closure activities (i.e., decommissioning) to occur simultaneously, provided technical decisions are made by an experienced decision maker within the site conceptual site model. Facility closure involved a seven-step decommissioning strategy. First, preliminary investigation activities were performed, including review of process knowledge documentation, targeted facility radiological and hazardous material surveys, concrete core drilling and analysis, shield wall radiological characterization, and discrete sampling, which proved to be very useful and cost-effective in subsequent decommissioning planning and execution and worker safety. Second, site setup and mobilization of equipment and personnel were completed. Third, early removal of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, cadmium, and oil, was performed ensuring worker safety during more invasive demolition activities. Process piping was to be verified void of contents. Electrical systems were de-energized and other systems were rendered free of residual energy. Fourth, areas of high radiological contamination were decontaminated using multiple methods. Contamination levels varied across the facility. Fixed beta/gamma contamination levels ranged up to 2 million disintegrations per minute (dpm)/100 centimeters squared (cm2) beta/gamma. Removable beta/gamma contamination levels seldom exceeded 1,000 dpm/100 cm2, but, in railroad trenches on the reactor pad containing soil on the concrete pad in ...
Date: June 1, 2008
Creator: Kruzic, Michael R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Initial Assessment of Environmental Barrier Coatings for the Prometheus Project

Description: Depending upon final design and materials selections, a variety of engineering solutions may need to be considered to avoid chemical degradation of components in a notional space nuclear power plant (SNPP). Coatings are one engineered approach that was considered. A comprehensive review of protective coating technology for various space-reactor structural materials is presented, including refractory metal alloys [molybdenum (Mo), tungsten (W), rhenium (Re), tantalum (Ta), and niobium (Nb)], nickel (Ni)-base superalloys, and silicon carbide (Sic). A summary description of some common deposition techniques is included. A literature survey identified coatings based on silicides or iridium/rhenium as the primary methods for environmental protection of refractory metal alloys. Modified aluminide coatings have been identified for superalloys and multilayer ceramic coatings for protection of Sic. All reviewed research focused on protecting structural materials from extreme temperatures in highly oxidizing conditions. Thermodynamic analyses indicate that some of these coatings may not be protective in the high-temperature, impure-He environment expected in a Prometheus reactor system. Further research is proposed to determine extensibility of these coating materials to less-oxidizing or neutral environments.
Date: December 15, 2005
Creator: Frederick, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

JOYO-1 Irradiation Test Campaign Technical Close-out, For Information

Description: The JOYO-1 irradiation testing was designed to screen the irradiation performance of candidate cladding, structural and reflector materials in support of space reactor development. The JOYO-1 designation refers to the first of four planned irradiation tests in the JOYO reactor. Limited irradiated material performance data for the candidate materials exists for the expected Prometheus-1 duration, fluences and temperatures. Materials of interest include fuel element cladding and core materials (refractory metal alloys and silicon carbide (Sic)), vessel and plant structural materials (refractory metal alloys and nickel-base superalloys), and control and reflector materials (BeO). Key issues to be evaluated were long term microstructure and material property stability. The JOYO-1 test campaign was initiated to irradiate a matrix of specimens at prototypical temperatures and fluences anticipated for the Prometheus-1 reactor [Reference (1)]. Enclosures 1 through 9 describe the specimen and temperature monitors/dosimetry fabrication efforts, capsule design, disposition of structural material irradiation rigs, and plans for post-irradiation examination. These enclosures provide a detailed overview of Naval Reactors Prime Contractor Team (NRPCT) progress in specific areas; however, efforts were in various states of completion at the termination of NRPCT involvement with and restructuring of Project Prometheus.
Date: January 31, 2006
Creator: Borges, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multiple Irradiation Capsule Experiment (MICE)-3B Irradiation Test of Space Fuel Specimens in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) - Close Out Documentation for Naval Reactors (NR) Information

Description: Few data exist for UO{sub 2} or UN within the notional design space for the Prometheus-1 reactor (low fission rate, high temperature, long duration). As such, basic testing is required to validate predictions (and in some cases determine) performance aspects of these fuels. Therefore, the MICE-3B test of UO{sub 2} pellets was designed to provide data on gas release, unrestrained swelling, and restrained swelling at the upper range of fission rates expected for a space reactor. These data would be compared with model predictions and used to determine adequacy of a space reactor design basis relative to fission gas release and swelling of UO{sub 2} fuel and to assess potential pellet-clad interactions. A primary goal of an irradiation test for UN fuel was to assess performance issues currently associated with this fuel type such as gas release, swelling and transient performance. Information learned from this effort may have enabled use of UN fuel for future applications.
Date: January 9, 2006
Creator: Chen, M.; Regan, CM & Noe, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ultrahigh Specific Impulse Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

Description: Research on nuclear thermal propulsion systems (NTP) have been in forefront of the space nuclear power and propulsion due to their design simplicity and their promise for providing very high thrust at reasonably high specific impulse. During NERVA-ROVER program in late 1950's till early 1970's, the United States developed and ground tested about 18 NTP systems without ever deploying them into space. The NERVA-ROVER program included development and testing of NTP systems with very high thrust (~250,000 lbf) and relatively high specific impulse (~850 s). High thrust to weight ratio in NTP systems is an indicator of high acceleration that could be achieved with these systems. The specific impulse in the lowest mass propellant, hydrogen, is a function of square root of absolute temperature in the NTP thrust chamber. Therefor optimizing design performance of NTP systems would require achieving the highest possible hydrogen temperature at reasonably high thrust to weight ratio. High hydrogen exit temperature produces high specific impulse that is a diret measure of propellant usage efficiency.
Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: Charmeau, Anne; Cunningham, Brandon & Anghaie, Samim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-Megawatt Power System Trade Study

Description: A concept study was undertaken to evaluate potential multi-megawatt power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nominal electric power requirement was set at 15 MWe with an assumed mission profile of 120 days at full power, 60 days in hot standby, and another 120 days of full power, repeated several times for 7 years of service. Two configurations examined were (1) a gas-cooled reactor based on the NERVA Derivative design, operating a closed cycle Brayton power conversion system; and (2) a molten metal-cooled reactor based on SP-100 technology, driving a boiling potassium Rankine power conversion system. This study considered the relative merits of these two systems, seeking to optimize the specific mass. Conclusions were that either concept appeared capable of approaching the specific mass goal of 3-5 kg/kWe estimated to be needed for this class of mission, though neither could be realized without substantial development in reactor fuels technology, thermal radiator mass efficiency, and power conversion and distribution electronics systems capable of operating at high temperatures. The gas-Brayton systems showed an apparent specific mass advantage (3.53 vs 6.43 kg/kWe for the baseline cases) under the set of assumptions used, but reconciling differences in conservatism in the design algorithms used would make results much more comparable. Brayton systems eliminate the need to deal with two-phase working fluid flows in the microgravity environment of space.
Date: February 1, 2002
Creator: Longhurst, Glen Reed; Schnitzler, Bruce Gordon & Parks, Benjamin Travis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space Power Program, Instrumentation and Control System Architecture, Pre-conceptual Design, for Information

Description: The purpose of this letter is to forward the Prometheus preconceptual Instrumentation and Control (I&C) system architecture (Enclosure (1)) to NR for information as part of the Prometheus closeout work. The preconceptual 1&C system architecture was considered a key planning document for development of the I&C system for Project Prometheus. This architecture was intended to set the technical approach for the entire I&C system. It defines interfaces to other spacecraft systems, defines hardware blocks for future development, and provides a basis for accurate cost and schedule estimates. Since the system requirements are not known at this time, it was anticipated that the architecture would evolve as the design of the reactor module was matured.
Date: October 20, 2005
Creator: Ross, JM
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space Shielding Materials for Prometheus Application

Description: At the time of Prometheus program restructuring, shield material and design screening efforts had progressed to the point where a down-selection from approximately eighty-eight materials to a set of five ''primary'' materials was in process. The primary materials were beryllium (Be), boron carbide (B{sub 4}C), tungsten (W), lithium hydride (LiH), and water (H{sub 2}O). The primary materials were judged to be sufficient to design a Prometheus shield--excluding structural and insulating materials, that had not been studied in detail. The foremost preconceptual shield concepts included: (1) a Be/B{sub 4}C/W/LiH shield; (2) a Be/B{sub 4}C/W shield; (3) and a Be/B{sub 4}C/H{sub 2}O shield. Since the shield design and materials studies were still preliminary, alternative materials (e.g., {sup nal}B or {sup 10}B metal) were still being screened, but at a low level of effort. Two competing low mass neutron shielding materials are included in the primary materials due to significant materials uncertainties in both. For LiH, irradiation-induced swelling was the key issue, whereas for H{sub 2}O, containment corrosion without active chemistry control was key, Although detailed design studies are required to accurately estimate the mass of shields based on either hydrogenous material, both are expected to be similar in mass, and lower mass than virtually any alternative. Unlike Be, W, and B{sub 4}C, which are not expected to have restrictive temperature limits, shield temperature limits and design accommodations are likely to be needed for either LiH or H{sub 2}O. The NRPCT focused efforts on understanding swelting of LiH, and observed, from approximately fifty prior irradiation tests, that either casting ar thorough out-gassing should reduce swelling. A potential contributor to LiH swelling appears to be LiOH contamination due to exposure to humid air, that can be eliminated by careful processing. To better understand LiH irradiation performance and mitigate the risks in LiH development for ...
Date: January 20, 2006
Creator: Lewis, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of NR Program Prometheus Efforts

Description: The Naval Reactors Program led work on the development of a reactor plant system for the Prometheus space reactor program. The work centered on a 200 kWe electric reactor plant with a 15-20 year mission applicable to nuclear electric propulsion (NEP). After a review of all reactor and energy conversion alternatives, a direct gas Brayton reactor plant was selected for further development. The work performed subsequent to this selection included preliminary nuclear reactor and reactor plant design, development of instrumentation and control techniques, modeling reactor plant operational features, development and testing of core and plant material options, and development of an overall project plan. Prior to restructuring of the program, substantial progress had been made on defining reference plant operating conditions, defining reactor mechanical, thermal and nuclear performance, understanding the capabilities and uncertainties provided by material alternatives, and planning non-nuclear and nuclear system testing. The mission requirements for the envisioned NEP missions cannot be accommodated with existing reactor technologies. Therefore concurrent design, development and testing would be needed to deliver a functional reactor system. Fuel and material performance beyond the current state of the art is needed. There is very little national infrastructure available for fast reactor nuclear testing and associated materials development and testing. Surface mission requirements may be different enough to warrant different reactor design approaches and development of a generic multi-purpose reactor requires substantial sacrifice in performance capability for each mission.
Date: February 8, 2006
Creator: Ashcroft, J. & Eshelman, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Evaluation of Lithium Hydride for Use in a Space Nuclear Reactor Shield, Including a Historical Perspective

Description: LiH was one of the five primary shield materials the NRPCT intended to develop (along with beryllium, boron carbide, tungsten, and water) for potential Prometheus application. It was also anticipated that {sup 10}B metal would be investigated for feasibility at a low level of effort. LiH historically has been selected as a low mass, neutron absorption material for space shields (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP), Topaz, SP-100). Initial NRPCT investigations did not produce convincing evidence that LiH was desirable or feasible for a Prometheus mission due to material property issues (primarily swelling and hydrogen cover gas containment), and related thermal design complexity. Furthermore, if mass limits allowed, an option to avoid use of LiH was being contemplated to lower development costs and associated risks. However, LiH remains theoretically the most efficient neutron shield material per unit mass, and, with sufficient testing and development, could be an optimal material choice for future flights.
Date: December 9, 2005
Creator: Poeth, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reflector and Shield Material Properties for Project Prometheus

Description: This letter provides updated reflector and shield preliminary material property information to support reactor design efforts. The information provided herein supersedes the applicable portions of Revision 1 to the Space Power Program Preliminary Reactor Design Basis (Reference (a)). This letter partially answers the request in Reference (b) to provide unirradiated and irradiated material properties for beryllium, beryllium oxide, isotopically enriched boron carbide ({sup 11}B{sub 4}C) and lithium hydride. With the exception of {sup 11}B{sub 4}C, the information is provided in Attachments 1 and 2. At the time of issuance of this document, {sup 11}B{sub 4}C had not been studied.
Date: November 2, 2005
Creator: Nash, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Request for Naval Reactors Comment on Proposed Prometheus Space Flight Nuclear Reactor High Tier Reactor Safety Requirements and for Naval Reactors Approval to Transmit These Requirements to JPL

Description: The purpose of this letter is to request Naval Reactors comments on the nuclear reactor high tier requirements for the PROMETHEUS space flight reactor design, pre-launch operations, launch, ascent, operation, and disposal, and to request Naval Reactors approval to transmit these requirements to Jet Propulsion Laboratory to ensure consistency between the reactor safety requirements and the spacecraft safety requirements. The proposed PROMETHEUS nuclear reactor high tier safety requirements are consistent with the long standing safety culture of the Naval Reactors Program and its commitment to protecting the health and safety of the public and the environment. In addition, the philosophy on which these requirements are based is consistent with the Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group recommendations on space nuclear propulsion safety (Reference 1), DOE Nuclear Safety Criteria and Specifications for Space Nuclear Reactors (Reference 2), the Nuclear Space Power Safety and Facility Guidelines Study of the Applied Physics Laboratory.
Date: April 28, 2005
Creator: Kokkinos, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessing the Effects of Radiation Damage on Ni-base Alloys for the Prometheus Space Reactor System

Description: Ni-base alloys were considered for the Prometheus space reactor pressure vessel with operational parameters of {approx}900 K for 15 years and fluences up to 160 x 10{sup 20} n/cm{sup 2} (E > 0.1 MeV). This paper reviews the effects of irradiation on the behavior of Ni-base alloys and shows that radiation-induced swelling and creep are minor considerations compared to significant embrittlement with neutron exposure. While the mechanism responsible for radiation-induced embrittlement is not fully understood, it is likely a combination of helium embrittlement and solute segregation that can be highly dependent on the alloy composition and exposure conditions. Transmutation calculations show that detrimental helium levels would be expected at the end of life for the inner safety rod vessel (thimble) and possibly the outer pressure vessel, primarily from high energy (E > 1 MeV) n,{alpha} reactions with {sup 58}Ni. Helium from {sup 10}B is significant only for the outer vessel due to the proximity of the outer vessel to the BeO control elements. Recommendations for further assessments of the material behavior and methods to minimize the effects of radiation damage through alloy design are provided.
Date: April 4, 2006
Creator: Angeliu, T.; Ward, J. & Witter, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department