DESIGN OF A TRISO PARTICLE FUEL BASED INTEGRATED GAS-COOLED SPACE NUCLEAR REACTOR
Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
Published online: 22 February 2021
According to versatile and long-lasting requirements of deep space missions, space nuclear reactor (SNR) power system is becoming a more suitable choice compared to traditional solar and chemical power systems in large-scale and long-life applications. From NASA’s previous research, the gas-cooled reactor along with closed Brayton cycle (CBC) could achieve optimized weight-power ratio and be more applicable for large power system (100 kWe or MWe level). In this paper, a concept of integrated gas-cooled space nuclear reactor named IGCR-200 is introduced, which is designed based on the TRISO particle fuel and could achieve 200 kWe output combined with highly efficient He/Xe CBC generator. The design requirements include an operation lifetime of at least 10 years in full power mode, maximum fuel temperature < 1600K, negative temperature reactivity feedback, passive decay heat removal, redundancy in reactor control, and sub-criticality during water flooding accidents. It has an outer diameter of 70.0 cm, a height of 66.0 cm (reactor part), a total mass around 1000 kg, total Uranium inventory of 226.8 kg (235U enrichment as 93%), and 1 MW thermal power output. The reactor physics, thermal hydraulics and other required analysis are taken out to show the feasibility and performances of the design.
Key words: space nuclear reactor / TRISO fuel particle / integrated fuel element / closed Brayton cycle
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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