Heat transfer analysis of fuel assemblies in a heterogeneous gas core nuclear rocket

Yoichi Watanabe, Jacob Appelbaum, Nils Diaz, Isaac Maya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Heat transfer problems of a heterogeneous gaseous core nuclear rocket were studied. The reactor core consists of 1.5 m long hexagonal fuel assemblies filled with pressurized uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) gas. The fuel gas temperature ranges from 3500 to 7000 K at a nominal operating condition of 40 atm. Each fuel assembly has seven coolant tubes, through which hydrogen propellant flows. The propellant temperature is not constrained by the fuel temperature but by the maximum temperature of the graphite coolant tube. For a core achieving a fission power density of 1000 MW/m3, the propellant core exit temperature can be as high as 3200 K. The physical size of a 1250 MW gaseous core nuclear rocket is comparable with that of a NERVA type solid core nuclear rocket. The engine can deliver a specific impulse of 1020 seconds and a thrust of 330 kN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/NASA/OAI Conference on Advanced SEI Technologies, 1991
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
EventAIAA/NASA/OAI Conference on Advanced SEI Technologies, 1991 - Cleveland, United States
Duration: Sep 4 1991Sep 6 1991

Other

OtherAIAA/NASA/OAI Conference on Advanced SEI Technologies, 1991
CountryUnited States
CityCleveland
Period9/4/919/6/91

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