KiloPower/KRUSTY

Asteroza
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Joined: Feb 25, 2011 1:55 am

KiloPower/KRUSTY

Post by Asteroza » May 06, 2018 9:10 pm

So NASA/LANL recently announced a NaK heatpipe cooled kilowatt scale reactor had a fully up test, and the results aren't too shabby.

https://beyondnerva.wordpress.com/2018/ ... -part-iii/

The test was KRUSTY, a mostly complete prototype for a what KiloPower module, a reactor design using a solid tub of LEU, cooled by NaK coolant heatpipes, leading to stirling generators. The generators are in a set of 8.

The KiloPower design is intended for many space uses, from spacecraft power, to lunar or martian surface ops, and possibly elsewhere (Jupiter or Saturn moons).

There is a follow-on design called MegaPower, sponsored by DoE and military friends, which ups the size to a truck transportable reactor with a NaK coolant loop to a brayton air cycle turbine generator. Naturally this is a military FOB transportable SMR in all but name.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160027536

KiloPower represents the extreme end of the SMR approach, and intensifies the issues regarding a plant with multiple reactors but a single operator room.

alexterrell
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Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY

Post by alexterrell » May 10, 2018 7:46 am

Would NaK heat pipes be a means of passively cooling reactors in the event of a shut-down?

Asteroza
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Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY

Post by Asteroza » May 10, 2018 10:14 pm

alexterrell wrote:Would NaK heat pipes be a means of passively cooling reactors in the event of a shut-down?
Can? Maybe, but for practical engineering/cost reasons probably not. KiloPower isn't very high temperature either. Plus, what's your heat dump? Dumping raw heat to air in containment? Dumping to a tub of water? Dumping to the containment wall surface?

Considering MegaPower is NaK to air brayton, that would imply you might be able to get away with dumping to containment (but the amount of heat would be unsafe for humans).

E Ireland
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Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY

Post by E Ireland » May 11, 2018 5:46 am

Dumping direct to air with NaK sounds.... problematic.

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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY

Post by Kirk Sorensen » May 11, 2018 6:56 am

This reactor design is so unimpressive. It's a stick of HEU metal with 8 heat pipes around it.

Asteroza
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Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY

Post by Asteroza » May 13, 2018 8:24 pm

Kirk Sorensen wrote:This reactor design is so unimpressive. It's a stick of HEU metal with 8 heat pipes around it.
And yet it took so much teeth pulling to get this far, thus all the platitudes being heaped on it. I know there are alternatives, but we are being conditioned to accept mediocre. That this is the first real US space reactor work to progress this far in decades says so much about the whole enterprise.

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