CORE
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CORE. Core - Design Concept. Develop a 100 kWe reactor with a 5 full-power-year lifetime Evaluation of options were based on design criteria: Low mass Launchability Safety High Reliability. Core - Design Choices. Fast Spectrum Ceramic Fuel – Uranium Nitride, 33.1 w / o enriched

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CORE

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Core

CORE


Core design concept

Core - Design Concept

  • Develop a 100 kWe reactor with a 5 full-power-year lifetime

  • Evaluation of options were based on design criteria:

    • Low mass

    • Launchability

    • Safety

    • High Reliability


Core design choices

Core - Design Choices

  • Fast Spectrum

  • Ceramic Fuel – Uranium Nitride, 33.1 w/o enriched

  • Tantalum Burnable Poison

  • Lithium Heatpipe Coolant

  • Fuel Pin Elements in tricusp configuration

  • External Control By Drums

  • Zr3Si2 Reflector material

  • TaB2 Control material


Core design specifications

Core - Design Specifications

  • UN fuel and Ta poison were chosen for heat transfer, neutronics performance, and limited corrosion

  • Heat pipes eliminate the need for pumps, have excellent heat transfer, and reduce system mass.

  • Li working fluid operates at high temperatures necessary for power conversion unit: 1800 K


Core design specifications 2

Fuel Pin

Heatpipe

Tricusp Material

Core - Design Specifications (2)

  • Fuel pins are the same size as the heat pipes and arranged in tricusp design.


Core design specifications 3

88 cm

Fuel Pin

Reflector and Core Top-Down View

10 cm

Reflector

Control Drum

Reflector

42 cm

Fuel

Core

10 cm

Reflector

Zr3Si2 Reflector

Total Mass: 2654kg

Radial Reflector

Core - Design Specifications (3)

  • Reflector controls neutron leakage

  • Control drums add little mass to the system and offer high reliability due to few moving parts


Integration

Integration

  • Insert picture of reactor design from Joe


Launch accident analysis

Launch Accident Analysis

  • Many accidents were considered however, only accidents upon launch could not be prevented by extra safeguards.

  • Worst Case Scenarios:

    • Uniform dispersion of all U235 in atmosphere

    • Undeformed core with all heat pipes ruptured lands in water or wet sand


Launch accident results

Launch Accident Results

  • Total Dispersion of the 157 kg of U235 will increase the natural background radiation by 0.0025%

  • Water and Wet Sand Landing will not result in criticality


Future work

Future Work

  • Investigate further the feasibility of plate fuel element design

  • Optimize core configuration

  • Examine long-term effects of high radiation environment on chosen materials

  • Develop comprehensive safety analysis for launch accidents


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