- Conference date: 6 − 10 Jan 1991
- Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA)
This paper summarizes the evaluations of candidate thermionic systems that led to the designs being jointly proposed and studied by Rockwell and General Atomics (GA) in the FY 1990–1991 Air Force Weapons Laboratory (AFWL) thermionics system design program. Six uniquely different thermionic concepts were evaluated that encompassed thermionic fuel element (FTE)‐based concepts, pumped loop designs, heat‐pipe cooled designs, fast and moderated spectrum approaches, and a derivative of the Russian TOPAZ concept. The concepts were compared relative to their ability to satisfy specific AFWL requirements over the 10‐ to 100‐kWe range. The evaluation led to the Rockwell/GA selection of three concepts that could best meet the Air Force requirements: STAR‐C, a fast driver pumped loop TFE design, and a fast driver pumped loop TFE design, and a fast driver heat–pipe cooled TEF reactor.
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