- Conference date: 8-11 February 2004
- Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA)
The extent to which, if any, full power ground nuclear testing of space reactors should be performed has been a point of discussion within the industry for decades. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Are there equivalent alternatives? Can a test facility be constructed (or modified) in a reasonable amount of time? Is the test article an accurate representation of the flight system? Are the costs too restrictive? The obvious benefits of full power ground nuclear testing; obtaining systems integrated reliability data on a full‐scale, complete end‐to‐end system; come at some programmatic risk. Safety related information is not obtained from a full‐power ground nuclear test. This paper will discuss and assess these and other technical considerations essential in the decision to conduct full power ground nuclear‐or alternative‐tests.
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