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Gas core nuclear reactors?

  1. Jun 12, 2008 #1
    "The Cavradyne engines were based on the assumption of years of research and development, during the 1980s and '90s, of gaseous core nuclear reactors and high-temperature ionized gases. Theory was presumed to have shown that gaseous uranium-235 could be made critical in a cavity reactor only several feet or meters in diameter if the uranium atomic density were kept high, and if temperatures were maintained at a minimum of 20,000 °F (11,400 K). At first, progress was slow because of such early unsolved problems as how to reduce vortex turbulence in order to achieve high Separation ratios, and how to achieve adequate wall cooling in the face of the thermal radiation from the high-temperature ionized plasma. In the Cavradyne system, the temperature of the reactor was not directly limited by the capabilities of solid materials, since the central cavity was surrounded by a thick graphite wall that moderates the neutrons, reflecting most of them back into the cavity. Wall cooling would be ensured by circulating the hydrogen propellant prior to its being heated. Fissionable fuel energy was said to be transferred to the propellant by radiation through a specially designed rigid -- and coolable -- container."

    So, what do you think of the above text? Are there any scientific inaccuracies?

    Where can I find more information about cavity reactors?

    "...gaseous uranium-235 could be made critical in a cavity reactor only several feet or meters in diameter if the uranium atomic density were kept high, and if temperatures were maintained at a minimum of 20,000 °F (11,400 K)" <-- Any references to this statement? Anyone?

    Thank you!

    Henri.
     
  2. jcsd
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