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The Liquid Annular Reactor System (LARS) propulsionA concept for very high specific impulse (greater than 2000 seconds) direct nuclear propulsion is described. The concept, termed the liquid annular reactor system (LARS), uses liquid nuclear fuel elements to heat hydrogen propellant to very high temperatures (approximately 6000 K). Operating pressure is moderate (approximately 10 atm), with the result that the outlet hydrogen is virtually 100 percent dissociated to monatomic H. The molten fuel is contained in a solid container of its own material, which is rotated to stabilize the liquid layer by centripetal force. LARS reactor designs are described, together with neutronic and thermal-hydraulic analyses. Power levels are on the order of 200 megawatts. Typically, LARS designs use seven rotating fuel elements, are beryllium moderated, and have critical radii of approximately 100 cm (core L/D approximately equal to 1.5).
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Powell, James
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY., United States)
Ludewig, Hans
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY., United States)
Horn, Frederick
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY., United States)
Lenard, Roger
(Strategic Defense Initiative Organization Washington, DC., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Lewis Research Center, Vision-21: Space Travel for the Next Millennium
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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