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Titanium-Water Thermosyphon Gamma Radiation Effects and ResultsTitanium-water thermosyphons are being considered for use in heat rejection systems for fission power systems. Their proximity to the nuclear reactor will result in some exposure to gamma irradiation. Non-condensable gas formation from radiation may breakdown water over time and render a portion of the thermosyphon condenser inoperable. A series of developmental thermosyphons were operated at nominal operating temperature with accelerated gamma irradiation exposures on the same order of magnitude that is expected in eight years of heat rejection system operation. Temperature data were obtained during exposure at three locations on each thermosyphon; evaporator, condenser, and condenser end cap. Some non-condensable gas was evident, however thermosyphon performance was not affected because the non-condensable gas was compressed into the fill tube region at the top of the thermosyphon, away from the heat rejecting fin. The trend appeared to be an increasing amount of non-condensable gas formation with increasing gamma irradiation dose. Hydrogen is thought to be the most likely candidate for the non-condensable gas and hydrogen is known to diffuse through grain boundaries. Post-exposure evaluation of selected thermosyphons at temperature and in a vacuum chamber revealed that the non-condensable gas likely diffused out of the thermosyphons over a relatively short period of time. Further research shows a number of experimental and theoretical examples of radiolysis occurring through gamma radiation alone in pure water.
Document ID
Document Type
Sanzi, James L.
(Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
Jaworske, Donald A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Goodenow, Debra A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
July 30, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference(Atlanta, GA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 887359.01.04
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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