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Conceptual Analysis of the Power Production of Fission Electric Cell Reactors

[+] Author Affiliations
Donald King, Gary Rochau, Charles Morrow, Jamie Cash, David Seidel, Stephen Slutz

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

Paper No. ICONE10-22535, pp. 125-132; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/ICONE10-22535
From:
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Volume 4
  • Arlington, Virginia, USA, April 14–18, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3598-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3589-8
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME

abstract

The United States Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) Direct Energy Conversion project has as its goal the development of direct energy conversion (DEC) processes suitable for commercial development. DEC is defined as any fission process that returns usable energy with no intermediate thermal process. This project includes the study of the fission electric cell (FEC). In the FEC, fission fragments exit the fuel element cathode and are collected by the cell anode. Previous work [1] has shown the potential of FECs, with theoretical efficiencies up to 60%. Inspection of this work indicates the need for additional system modeling prior to any conclusions regarding the final FEC reactor configuration. This paper builds on the previous work and outlines the development of models to facilitate design decisions. The models address criticality, design life, reactor configuration, and current-voltage characteristics. In addition, this paper proposes future work to complete the design model.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME

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