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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Space reactors

The cooling system of a nuclear reactor with heat pipes can be used during space flight.

A group of researchers from LANL, NASA and NSTec (USA) established the use of heat pipes for cooling a small nuclear reactor that drives the Sterling engine. The system can be used as a dependable energy source for space vehicles.

The experiment was built on an existing installation of Flattop, which is a uranium reactor with water system heat dissipation. NASA engineers have designed and built a set that combines a system of removing heat from the reactor and the Sterling engine. In many respects (the characteristics of the nuclear reaction, the heat capacity of the experiment) to have a prototype meets the vision of the future "space nuclear reactor", adopted by the United States. The main difference - the water temperature is not sufficiently high to Sterling engine.

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