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Space Nuclear Safety Program. Progress report, May 1984

Description: This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Covered are: general-purpose heat source testing, light-weight radioisotope heater unit, and iridium biaxial testing.
Date: September 1, 1985
Creator: George, T.G. (comp.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Postirradiation examination results from SP-1

Description: This paper describes the postirradiation examination results from several of the fuel pins irradiated in the SP-1 test. The SP-1 test is the first of two tests irradiated in EBR-II to be examined. These tests are designed to provide a direct comparison of the performance potential of UO/sub 2/ and UN fuel pins under conditions anticipated for the SP-100 reactor. In addition, these tests examine various feasibility issues associated with each fuel system. These issues include: the high temperature swelling behavior of uranium nitride fuel, fuel-cladding compatibility and the potential for UO/sub 2//Li reactions by oxygen diffusion through the cladding.
Date: January 1, 1986
Creator: Karnesky, R.A. & Mason, R.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space nuclear power and man's extraterrestrial civilization

Description: This paper examines leading space nuclear power technology candidates. Particular emphasis is given the heat-pipe reactor technology currently under development at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This program is aimed at developing a 10-100 kWe, 7-year lifetime space nuclear power plant. As the demand for space-based power reaches megawatt levels, other nuclear reactor designs including: solid core, fluidized bed, and gaseous core, are considered.
Date: January 1, 1983
Creator: Angelo, J.J. & Buden, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The role of integral experiments and nuclear cross section evaluations in space nuclear reactor design

Description: The importance of the nuclear and neutronic properties of candidate space reactor materials to the design process has been acknowledged as has been the use of benchmark reactor physics experiments to verify and qualify analytical tools used in design, safety, and performance evaluation. Since June 1966, the Cross Section Evaluation Working Group (CSEWG) has acted as an interagency forum for the assessment and evaluation of nuclear reaction data used in the nuclear design process. CSEWG data testing has involved the specification and calculation of benchmark experiments which are used widely for commercial reactor design and safety analysis. These benchmark experiments preceded the issuance oflthe industry standards for acceptance, but the benchmarks exceed the minimum acceptance criteria for such data. Thus, a starting place has been provided in assuring the accuracy and uncertainty of nuclear data important to space reactor applications. (FI)
Date: January 1, 1987
Creator: Moses, D.L. & McKnight, R.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress on resolution of major surety issues. [Safety, environmental protection, safeguards, reliability, quality assurance]

Description: This paper presents a summary of the major surety issues (safety, environmental protection, sageguards, reliability, quality assurance) that have been identified during Phase I of the SP-100 Program and the progress that has been made in analyzing the most important of these issues in the context of the conceptual design effort. These issues have been identified as inadvertent criticality, toxic material release and dispersion, radiation exposure following end-of-life reentry, potential diversion of special nuclear material, failure to achieve end-of-life neutronic shutdown, and structural predictability for end-of-life re-entry or boost. Because of the complexity of these issues, a simplified conservative approach was taken during Phase I. Progress on these issues has been mainly in the area of increased understanding of the issues, identification of design features to resolve the issues, and quantitative evaluations of the surety characteristics of the various design concepts.
Date: January 1, 1985
Creator: Bell, C.R. & Boudreau, J.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SP-100 Test Site

Description: Preparatory activities are well under way at Hanford to convert the 309 Containment Building and its associated service wing to a 2.5 MWt nuclear test facility for the SP-100 Ground Engineering System (GES) test. Preliminary design is complete, encompassing facility modifications, a secondary heat transport system, a large vacuum system to enclose the high temperature reactor, a test assembly cell and handling system, control and data processing systems, and safety and auxiliary systems. The design makes extensive use of existing equipment to minimize technical risk and cost. Refurbishment of this equipment is 75% complete. The facility has been cleared of obstructing equipment from its earlier reactor test. Current activities are focusing on definitive design and preparation of the Preliminary Safety Analysis Report (PSAR) aimed at procurement and construction approvals and schedules to achieve reactor criticality by January 1992. 6 refs.
Date: January 1, 1988
Creator: Cox, C.M.; Mahaffey, M.K. & Miller, W.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Strontium-90 fluoride data sheet

Description: This report is a compilation of available data and appropriate literature references on the properties of strontium-90 fluoride and nonradioactive strontium fluoride. The objective of the document is to compile in a single source pertinent data to assist potential users in the development, licensing, and use of /sup 90/SrF/sub 2/-fueled radioisotope heat sources for terrestrial power conversion and thermal applications. The report is an update of the Strontium-90 Fluoride Data Sheet (BNWL-2284) originally issued in April 1977.
Date: June 1, 1981
Creator: Fullam, H.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A review of research programs related to the behavior of plutonium in the environment

Description: Plutonium-fueled radioisotopic heat sources find application in a spectrum of space, terrestrial, and underseas applications to generate electrical power by thermoelectric or dynamic-cycle conversion. Such systems under postulated accident conditions could release radioactivity into the environment resulting in risks to the general population. The released radioactivity could be dispersed into various environmental media, such as air, soil, and water and interact with people through various exposure pathways leading to inhalation, ingestion, and external radiological doses and associated health effects. The authors developed short-term exposure (RISK II) and long-term exposure (RISK III) models for use in safety risk assessments of space missions utilizing plutonium-fueled electric power systems. To effectively use these models in risk assessments, representative input values must be selected for a spectrum of environmental transfer parameters that characterize the behavior of plutonium in the environment. The selection of appropriate transfer parameters to be used in a given analysis will depend on the accident scenarios to be modeled and the terrestrial and aquatic environments to be encountered. The authors reviewed the availability of plutonium in the environment. This report summarizes the research programs presently being conducted at six Department of Energy Laboratories and makes recommendations on areas where further research is needed to fill gaps in the data necessary for risk assessments
Date: June 15, 1983
Creator: Bartram, Bart W. & Wilkinson, Martha J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space nuclear safety and fuels program. Progress report, February 1980

Description: This formal monthly report covers the studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotopic power systems carried out for the Space and Terrestrial Systems Division of the US Department of Energy by the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed here are of a continuing nature. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues. Published reference to the results cited in this report should not be made without the explicit permission of the person in charge of the work.
Date: May 1, 1981
Creator: Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-temperature, radiation-tolerant electronics for the MMW (Multi-megawatt) Space Reactor Program

Description: One of the objectives of the Multi-Megawatt (MMW) space reactor program is to determine, within the next five years, what types of power electronic devices would be suitable for MMW space power applications. Suitable devices must be able to withstand high temperatures and high radiation fields. After investigating the literature on solid state device and miniature vacuum tube technologies, we have concluded that the miniature vacuum tube technology is, currently, the most promising. The main reason for choosing this technology, is because miniature vacuum tubes can operate at very high temperatures (775 K or potentially higher) and are tolerant to very high neutron fluence and gamma dose. Although there are still problems to be solved before miniature vacuum tubes can be used, the time required for their development will be much shorter than the five year period required by the MMW space reactor program. 13 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: October 17, 1986
Creator: Yee, J.H.; Orvis, W.J.; McConaghy, C. & Ciarlo, D.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Quarterly report on the strontium heat source development program, Space and Terrestrial Systems Division for January-March 1981

Description: At Hanford, strontium is separated from the high-level waste, converted to the fluo-ride, and doubly encapsulated in small, high-integrity containers for subsequent long-term storage. The fluoride conversion, encapsulation, and storage takes place in the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facilities (WESF). The encapsulated strontium fluoride represents an economical source of /sup 90/Sr if the WESF capsule can be licensed for heat-source applications under anticipated-use conditions. The objects of this program are to obtain the data needed to license /sup 90/SrF/sub 2/ heat sources and specifically the WESF /sup 90/SrF/sub 2/ capsules. The information needed for licensing can be divided into three general task areas: Task 1--Chemical and Physical Properties of /sup 90/SrF/sub 2/; Task 2--/sup 90/SrF/sub 2/ Compatibility Studies; and Task 3--Capsule Qualification and Licening. Efforts are proceeding concurrently on all three tasks to obtain the required information.
Date: May 1, 1981
Creator: Fullam, H.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optimization and analysis of LiH thermal energy storage device configurations for space power applications

Description: Thermal energy storage (TES) can be used to reduce the area and mass of the heat rejection system for space-based sprint power systems. During the sprint mode power cycle, reject heat is placed into storage. The heat is then rejected to the ultimate sink over the much longer non-operational portion of the orbits, through a correspondingly smaller radiator. Preliminary analysis has shown significant weight advantage for the heat storage plus radiator concept over the radiator only concept. Thermal performance analysis and optimization of five heat sink TES configurations using LiH was completed. The configurations are: (a) LiH encapsulated spheres in the packed bed, (b) standard tube and shell arrangement with LiH on the tube side, (c) tube and shell with LiH on the shell side, (d) alternating concentric rings of LiH and heat transport fluid, and (e) parallel slabs of LiH. System performance was calculated for a wide range of parameters and included effects of prespecified internal voids, enhanced conductivity and internal fins.
Date: January 1, 1987
Creator: Siman-Tov, M.; Williams, P. & Olszewski, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pressure Fed Nuclear Thermal Rockets for space missions

Description: The National Space Policy includes a long range goal of expanding human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit into the solar system. This has renewed interest in the potential application of Nuclear Thermal Rockets (NTR) to space flight, particularly for human expeditions to the Moon and Mars. Recent NASA studies consider applications of the previously developed NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) technology and the more advanced gas core reactors and show their potential advantages in reducing the initial mass in Earth orbit (IMEO) compared to advanced chemical rocket engines. Application of NERVA technology will require reestablishing the prior technological base or extending it to an advanced NERVA type engine, while the gas core NTR will require an extensive high risk research and development program. A technology intermediate between NERVA and the gas core NTR is a low pressure engine based on solid fuel, a Pressure Fed NTR (PFNTR). In addition to the simplicity of the gas pressurized engine cycle, the PFNTR takes advantage of the dissociation of hydrogen-the increases in specific impulse become significant as the chamber pressure decreases below 1.0 MPa (10 atmospheres) and the chamber temperature increases above 3000 K. The developmental status of technology applicable to a Pressure Fed Nuclear Thermal Rocket (PFNTR) lies between that of the NERVA engine and the gas core NTR (GCNTR). This document investigates PFNTR performance and provides typical mission analyses.
Date: August 1, 1989
Creator: Leyse, C.F. (Leyse (C.F.), Idaho Falls, ID (USA)); Madsen, W.W.; Ramsthaler, J.H. & Schnitzler, B.G. (EG and G Idaho, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Capabilities of the ATHENA computer code for modeling the SP-100 space reactor concept

Description: The capability to perform thermal-hydraulic analyses of an SP-100 space reactor was demonstrated using the ATHENA computer code. The preliminary General Electric SP-100 design was modeled using Athena. The model simulates the fast reactor, liquid-lithium coolant loops, and lithium-filled heat pipes of this design. Two ATHENA demonstration calculations were performed simulating accident scenarios. A mask for the SP-100 model and an interface with the Nuclear Plant Analyzer (NPA) were developed, allowing a graphic display of the calculated results on the NPA. 22 figs.
Date: September 1, 1985
Creator: Fletcher, C.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SP-100 from ground demonstration to flight validation

Description: The SP-100 program is in the midst of developing and demonstrating the technology of a liquid metal cooled, fast reactor using thermoelectric thermal-to-electric conversion devices for space power applications in the range of 10s-to-100s of kilowatts. The current Ground Engineering System (GES) design and development phase will demonstrate the readiness of the technology building blocks and the system to proceed to flight system validation. This phase includes the demonstration of a 2.4 MW thermal reactor in the Nuclear Assembly Test (NAT) and aerospace subsystem in the Integrated Assembly Test (IAT). The next phase in the SP-100 development, now being planned, is to be a flight demonstration of the readiness of the technology to be incorporated into future military and civilian missions.
Date: January 1, 1989
Creator: Buden, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A survey of control rod measurements in ZPPR and their analysis

Description: The accurate prediction of control rod worths has been of great concern in the United States. Optimum control configurations need to balance several often conflicting requirements of control through the operating cycle, while maintaining acceptable power shapes, safety considerations of overriding importance, together with seeking economy by minimizing the number of rods, reducing boron enrichment and lengthening replacement intervals. After control and shutdown requirements have been met, the most important safety concern is the transient overpower condition (TOP) which may be initiated by uncontrolled run-out of a primary rod. Stringent criteria for the primary and secondary systems may be that they are independently capable of shutting down the reactor even with one rod stuck. The TOP initiator may be greatly enhanced by control rod interaction effects. Control rod effects may have a strong impact on core design. For example, work on the integral fast reactor with metallic fuel at ANL has studied core designs which minimize the TOP reactivity by maintaining a minimum primary control bank insertion through tailoring the internal breeding gain. The predicted control rod worths are very sensitive to the calculation methods used and to the accuracy of the basic nuclear data files. Required accuracies have been achieved only through the use of critical experiments on the ZPR and ZPPR facilities. Experiments on ZPR-3 and ZPR-9 produced satisfactory control predictions for the SEFOR, EBR-II and FFTF reactors. This document provides a survey of control rod measurements and compares calculated and experimental results. 16 refs., 3 figs., 10 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1988
Creator: Collins, P.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effects of space-dependent cross sections on core physics parameters for compact fast spectrum space power reactors

Description: Effects of multigroup neutron cross section generation procedures on core physics parameters for compact fast spectrum reactors have been examined. Homogeneous and space-dependent multigroup cross section sets were generated in 11 and 27 groups for a representative fast reactor core. These cross sections were used to compute various reactor physics parameters for the reference core. Coarse group structure and neglect of space-dependence in the generation procedure resulted in inaccurate computations of reactor flux and power distributions and in significant errors regarding estimates of core reactivity and control system worth. Delayed neutron fraction was insensitive to cross section treatment, and computed reactivity coefficients were only slightly sensitive. However, neutron lifetime was found to be very sensitive to cross section treatment. Deficiencies in multigroup cross sections are reflected in core nuclear design and, consequently, in system mechanical design.
Date: January 1, 1987
Creator: Lell, R.M. & Hanan, N.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space reactors. Progress report, October 1981-March 1982

Description: Progress in design studies and technology for the SP-100 Project - successor to the Space Power Advanced Reactor (SPAR) Project - is reported for the period October 1, 1981 to March 31, 1982. The basis for selecting a high-temperature, UO/sub 2/-fueled, heat-pipe-cooled reactor with a thermoelectric conversion system as the 100-kW/sub e/ reference design has been reviewed. Although no change has been made in the general concept, design studies have been done to investigate various reactor/conversion system coupling methods and core design modifications. Thermal and mechanical finite element modeling and three-dimensional Monte Carlo analysis of a core with individual finned fuel elements are reported. Studies of unrestrained fuel irradiation data are discussed that are relevant both to the core modeling work and to the design and fabrication of the first in-pile irradiation test, which is also reported. Work on lithium-filled core heat pipe development is described, including the attainment of 15.6 kW/sub t/ operation at 1525 K for a 2-m-long heat pipe with a 15.7-mm outside diameter. The successful operation of a 5.5-m-long, lightweight potassium/titanium heat pipe at 760 K is described, and test results of a thermoelectric module with GaP-modified SiGe thermoelectric elements are presented.
Date: January 1, 1983
Creator: Ranken, W.A. (comp.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space nuclear-safety program. Progress report, October 1982

Description: This technical monthly report covers studies related to the use of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ in radioisotope power systems carried out for the Office of Special Nuclear Projects of the US Department of Energy by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most of the studies discussed here are ongoing. Results and conclusions described may change as the work continues.
Date: March 1, 1983
Creator: Bronisz, S.E. (comp.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of free-piston Stirling technology at the NASA Lewis Research Center

Description: The activities include: (1) a generic free-piston Stirling technology project being conducted to develop technologies synergistic to both space power and terrestrial heat pump applications in a cooperative, cost-shared effort with the Department of Energy (DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)), and (2) a free-piston Stirling space power technology demonstration project as part of the SP-100 program being conducted in support of the Department of Defense (DOD), DOE, and NASA/Lewis. The generic technology effort includes extensive parametric testing of a 1 kW free-piston Stirling engine (RE-1000), development and validation of a free-piston Stirling performance computer code, and fabrication and initial testing of an hydraulic output modification for the RE-1000 engine. The space power technology effort, under SP-100, addresses the status of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) including early test results.
Date: January 1, 1985
Creator: Slaby, J.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Quality application to space nuclear power (SP-100)

Description: Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC) was selected by DOE as the preferred site to install and conduct operational, performance, and reliability tests on the ground-based prototype of the space reactor. These tests will be conducted with the reactor in a large vacuum chamber to simulate the space environment. A containment vessel system from the decommissioned Plutonium Recycle Test Reactor will house the chamber and provide appropriate safeguards. The reactor will generate 2.5-MW thermal energy from uranium nitride fuel clad in a Nb-1% Zr alloy and will use lithium as the primary coolant. The Ground Engineering System (GES) phase of the SP-100 is administered by DOE-HQ through DOE-SAN with ANSI/ASME NQA-1 forming the basis for the Quality Assurance Requirements. All participants in the GES program, which includes seven Federal Laboratories and several private contactor, will develop programs to implement the GES Quality and Reliability Assurance Program Plan (Q and RAP). WHC developed a sub-tier Q and RAP for our activities based on existing procedures. The laboratory is committed to and has been implementing NQA-1 since 1979. As a result, procedures that satisfy the 18 NQA-1 criteria are in place. These are familiar to and understood by the performing personnel at WHC. The narrative for each criterion is a simple description of the selected methodology. WHC, Q and AP is, then, a road map to the implementing procedures. 6 refs.
Date: September 1, 1987
Creator: Caplinger, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermal and dynamic analysis of the RING (Radiatively-cooled, Inertially-driven Nuclear Generator) power system radiator

Description: The nuclear option for a space-based power system appears most suitable for missions that require long-term, sustained operation at power levels above 100 kWe. Systems currently available operate at relatively low thermal efficiencies (6--10%). Thus, a 100 kWe system must discharge nearly 2 MWth of waste heat through the comparatively inefficient process of radiative cooling. The impact of the resultant radiator assembly size on overall power system weight is significant, and has led to proposals for radiators with potentially higher efficiencies. Examples include the: liquid droplet radiator; fabric radiator; bubble membrane radiator; rotating film radiator; and dust radiator. 14 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1989
Creator: Apley, W.J. & Babb, A.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preliminary site design for the SP-100 ground engineering test

Description: In November, 1985, Hanford was selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) as the preferred site for a full-scale test of the integrated nuclear subsystem for SP-100. The Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory, operated by Westinghouse Hanford Company, was assigned as the lead contractor for the Test Site. The nuclear subsystem, which includes the reactor and its primary heat transport system, will be provided by the System Developer, another contractor to be selected by DOE in late FY-1986. In addition to reactor operations, test site responsibilities include preparation of the facility plus design, procurement and installation of a vacuum chamber to house the reactor, a secondary heat transport system to dispose of the reactor heat, a facility control system, and postirradiation examination. At the conclusion of the test program, waste disposal and facility decommissioning are required. The test site must also prepare appropriate environmental and safety evaluations. This paper summarizes the preliminary design requirements, the status of design, and plans to achieve full power operation of the test reactor in September, 1990.
Date: April 1, 1986
Creator: Cox, C.M.; Miller, W.C. & Mahaffey, M.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Applications of power beaming from space-based nuclear power stations. [Laser beaming to airplanes; microwave beaming to ground]

Description: Power beaming from space-based reactor systems is examined using an advanced compact, lightweight Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR). Closed Brayton power conversion efficiencies in the range of 30 to 40% can be achieved with turbines, with reactor exit temperatures on the order of 2000/sup 0/K and a liquid drop radiator to reject heat at temperatures of approx. 500/sup 0/K. Higher RBR coolant temperatures (up to approx. 3000/sup 0/K) are possible, but gains in power conversion efficiency are minimal, due to lower expander efficiency (e.g., a MHD generator). Two power beaming applications are examined - laser beaming to airplanes and microwave beaming to fixed ground receivers. Use of the RBR greatly reduces system weight and cost, as compared to solar power sources. Payback times are a few years at present prices for power and airplane fuel.
Date: January 1, 1981
Creator: Powell, J.R.; Botts, T.E. & Hertzberg, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department