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Moon base reactor systemThe objective of our reactor design is to supply a lunar-based research facility with 20 MW(e). The fundamental layout of this lunar-based system includes the reactor, power conversion devices, and a radiator. The additional aim of this reactor is a longevity of 12 to 15 years. The reactor is a liquid metal fast breeder that has a breeding ratio very close to 1.0. The geometry of the core is cylindrical. The metallic fuel rods are of beryllium oxide enriched with varying degrees of uranium, with a beryllium core reflector. The liquid metal coolant chosen was natural lithium. After the liquid metal coolant leaves the reactor, it goes directly into the power conversion devices. The power conversion devices are Stirling engines. The heated coolant acts as a hot reservoir to the device. It then enters the radiator to be cooled and reenters the Stirling engine acting as a cold reservoir. The engines' operating fluid is helium, a highly conductive gas. These Stirling engines are hermetically sealed. Although natural lithium produces a lower breeding ratio, it does have a larger temperature range than sodium. It is also corrosive to steel. This is why the container material must be carefully chosen. One option is to use an expensive alloy of cerbium and zirconium. The radiator must be made of a highly conductive material whose melting point temperature is not exceeded in the reactor and whose structural strength can withstand meteor showers.
Document ID
19940004536
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Chavez, H.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Flores, J.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Nguyen, M.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Carsen, K.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: USRA, NASA(USRA University Advanced Design Program Fifth Annual Summer Conference
Subject Category
Nuclear And High-Energy Physics
Accession Number
94N71291
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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