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The Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling TechnologY (KRUSTY) Nuclear Ground Test Results and Lessons LearnedThe Kilopower nuclear ground testing nicknamed KRUSTY (Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling TechnologY) was completed at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site (NNSS) on March 21, 2018. This full scale nuclear demonstration verified the Kilopower reactor neutronics during startup, steady state, and transient operations in a space simulated environment. This was the first space reactor test completed for fission power systems in over 50 years and marked a turning point in NASA's nuclear program. The completed reactor power system design incorporated flight prototypic materials and full scale components in an effort to study the reactor dynamics at full power and significantly reduce follow on risk of a future flight demonstration. This design provided a unique opportunity for the power system to simulate several expected and unexpected mission scenarios that allowed the designers to verify that the reactor dynamics could tolerate many worst case conditions regarding reactor stability and control. The dynamic changes imposed on the reactor validated the ability of the reactor to load follow the power conversion system and passively control the fuel temperature and overall system stability. With successful completion of the KRUSTY experiment, the NASA/DOE team will evaluate the lessons learned throughout the project and apply them towards a flight demonstration of a Kilopower reactor.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Gibson, Marc A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Poston, David
(Los Alamos National Lab. Albuquerque, NM, United States)
Mcclure, Patrick
(Los Alamos National Lab. Albuquerque, NM, United States)
Godfroy, Thomas J.
(Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
Briggs, Maxwell H.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Sanzi, James L.
(Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 21, 2018
Publication Date
July 9, 2018
Subject Category
Nuclear Physics
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Country: United States
Start Date: July 9, 2018
End Date: July 11, 2018
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 469947.04.23.22
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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