A 50-100 kWe Gas-Cooled Reactor for Use on Mars

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There are drawbacks however. The similarity between the test reactor and the final design would be somewhat limited. Thus far, the Category III core has not proven safe for the common launch accident scenarios. The two alternatives that have been examined are listed below. One possible design uses pins that are at the upper limits of category III definition (49%, 49kg 235U) to achieve the desired results. In this case, the size of the fuel pins would have to be reduced or the number of pins would have to be reduced.

It is primarily used in the nuclear field as a neutron reflector. The oxygen component results in BeO being an extremely good scattering material as it has a very high scattering to absorption cross section ratio. In addition to being a reflector, there is an n-2n reaction in beryllium that increases neutron numbers, increasing this material’s attractiveness. BeO will be located in two different regions of the core with drastically different temperatures. In the individual fuel pins, axial reflectors of 5 cm BeO at the pin ends will be at around 1300 K.

Finally, the cross sections of the materials being used in the core were corrected to those at operating temperature The vast majority of the materials in the core do not have readily available cross sections at the desired temperature. The NJoy code was used to generate cross sections for the different materials in the reactor [MacFarlane, 1994]. The temperatures used were the peak values from the FEPSIM model. These temperatures are probably somewhat high, but are a much better approximation than using room temperature cross sections.

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