- Conference date: 12−16 Jan 1992
- Location: Abuquerque, New Mexico (USA)
Described is a radioisotope heat source for the Two‐Watt Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) which is being considered for possible application by the U.S. Navy and for other Department of Defense applications. The heat source thermal energy (75 Wt) is produced from the alpha decay of plutonium‐238 which is in the form of high‐fired plutonium dioxide. The capsule is non‐vented and consists of three domed cylindrical components each closed with a corresponding sealed end cap. Surrounding the fuel is the liner component, which is fabricated from a tantalum‐based alloy, T‐111. Also fabricated from T‐111 is the next component, the strength member, which serves to meet pressure and impact criteria. The outermost component, or clad, is the oxidation‐ and corrosion‐resistant nickel‐based alloy, Hastelloy S. This paper defines the design considerations, details the hardware fabrication and welding processes, discusses the addition of yttrium to the fuel to reduce liner embrittlement, and describes the testing that has been conducted or is planned to assure that there is fuel containment not only during the heat source operational life, but also in case of an accident environment.
- Thermoelectric devices
- Alpha decay
- Environmental impacts
- Heat conduction
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