- Conference date: 12−16 Jan 1992
- Location: Abuquerque, New Mexico (USA)
This paper addresses reactor design considerations for an in‐core thermionic system concept proposed for emerging space power applications with electric power requirements in the 10 to 50‐kWe range. At this power level an in‐core thermionic rector core requires a combination of thermionic fuel elements (TFEs) and driver fuel elements to achieve nuclear criticality. A pumped liquid‐metal loop cools the reactor, transporting the reject heat to a heat pipe radiator. The system concept is a straightforward derivative of the thermionic 100‐kWe system designed during the SP‐100 Phase 1 program. Combining existing thermionic technology with LMFBR fuel technology and pumped‐loop waste heat removal defines a concept that has the advantages of reliability, scalability, technology maturity, and design flexibility.
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