Design and Build of Reactor Simulator for Fission Surface Power Technology Demonstrator Unit

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T. Godfroy; R. Dickens; M. Houts; B. Pearson; K. Webster; M. Gibson; L. Qualls; D. Poston; J. Werner; R. Radel (2011), JBIS, 64, 43-48

Refcode: 2011.64.43
Keywords: Reactor, Reactor Simulator, Fission Surface Power, Core Simulator, LM Pump, TDU, FSPS

The Nuclear Systems Team at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) focuses on technology development for state of the art capability in non-nuclear testing of nuclear system and Space Nuclear Power for fission reactor systems for lunar and mars surface power generation as well as radioisotope power systems for both spacecraft and surface applications. Currently being designed and developed is a reactor simulator (RxSim) for incorporation into the Technology Demonstrator Unit (TDU) for the Fission Surface Power System (FSPS) Program which is supported by multiple national laboratories and NASA centers. The ultimate purpose of the RxSim is to provide heated NaK to a pair of Stirling engines in the TDU. The RxSim includes many different systems, components, and instrumentation that have been developed at MSFC while working with pumped NaK systems and in partnership with the national laboratories and NASA centers. The main components of the RxSim are a core, a pump, a heat exchanger (to mimic the thermal load of the Stirling engines), and a flow meter when being tested at MSFC. When tested at GRC the heat exchanger will be replaced with a Stirling power conversion engine. Additional components include storage reservoirs, expansion volumes, overflow catch tanks, safety and support hardware, instrumenta- tion (temperature, pressure, flow) data collection, and power supplies. This paper will discuss the design and current build status of the RxSim for delivery to GRC in early 2012.


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