Fuel loading of PeBR for a long operation life on the lunar surface | Conference Paper individual record
abstract

The Pellet Bed Reactor (PeBR) power system could provide 99.3 kW e to a lunar outpost for 66 full power years and is designed for no single point failures. The core of this fast energy spectrum reactor consists of three sectors that are neuronically and thermally coupled, but hydraulically independent. Each sector has a separate Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) loop for energy conversion and separate water heat-pipes radiator panels for heat rejection. He-Xe (40 g/mole) binary gas mixture serves as the reactor coolant and CBC working fluid. On the lunar surface, the emplaced PeBR below grade is loaded with spherical fuel pellets (1-cm in dia.). It is launched unfueled and the pellets are launched in separate subcritical canisters, one for each core sector. This paper numerically simulates the transient loading of a core sector with fuel pellets on the Moon. The simulation accounts for the dynamic interaction of the pellets during loading and calculates the axial and radial distributions of the volume porosity in the sector. The pellets pack randomly with a volume porosity of 0.39 - 0.41 throughout most of the sector, except near the walls the local porosity is higher.

author list (cited authors)
Schriener, T. M., & El-Genk, M. S.
publication date
2012