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Proceedings Paper

Fundamental Considerations Of Gas Core Reactor Systems
Author(s): Robert W. Bussard
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Paper Abstract

Fundamental physics and engineering limitations on gas core reactors (GCR) have been found from coupled effects of reactor neutronics with oscillatory core fuel gas flows and with overall gas dynamics. These show allowable regimes for system operation as natural re-sults of the basiciphysics of the system. Cylindrical BeO-moderated systems, such as the acoustic GCR (AGCR ), are found to be well-suited for pressure wave oscillation at 100-Hz frequencies. These result in stable oscillations of core gas electrical conductivity which may be used for direct alternating current electric power production in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) convertors. In contrast, single-cavity axial-flow spherical GCR (SGCR2) systems are inherently limited by core flow and fission energy-generation fluctuation phenomena (to continuous wave operation with mixed flows that cannot sustain high internal core gas tempera-ture gradients. Resulting low mixed-mean temperatures place upper limits on system MHD electrical performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 1988
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 0871, Space Structures, Power, and Power Conditioning, (6 April 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.943628
Show Author Affiliations
Robert W. Bussard, Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0871:
Space Structures, Power, and Power Conditioning
Raymond F. Askew, Editor(s)

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