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 Post subject: KiloPower/KRUSTY
PostPosted: May 06, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Feb 25, 2011 1:55 am
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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/2018/05/02/krusty-we-have-fission-kilopower-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.


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 Post subject: Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY
PostPosted: May 10, 2018 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
Posts: 511
Would NaK heat pipes be a means of passively cooling reactors in the event of a shut-down?


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 Post subject: Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY
PostPosted: May 10, 2018 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Feb 25, 2011 1:55 am
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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).


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 Post subject: Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY
PostPosted: May 11, 2018 5:46 am 
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Joined: Jun 19, 2013 11:49 am
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Dumping direct to air with NaK sounds.... problematic.


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 Post subject: Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY
PostPosted: May 11, 2018 6:56 am 
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Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3669
Location: Alabama
This reactor design is so unimpressive. It's a stick of HEU metal with 8 heat pipes around it.


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 Post subject: Re: KiloPower/KRUSTY
PostPosted: May 13, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Feb 25, 2011 1:55 am
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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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