A High Power-to-Weight Ratio Liquid Metal MHD Concept Reactor for Space and Terrestrial Needs
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Presented is a next generation space reactor concept. A brief review of liquid metal magneto hydrodynamics (LMMHD) will be given. The main features of this concept include a molten salt core that has a helical heat exchanger that is cooled by liquid lithium. The MHD conversion section consists of a liquid cesium injector, the MHD convertor, a nozzle, and a phase separator. The heat rejection stage consists of an electrostatic liquid droplet radiator. The system is optimized for a high power to weight ratio suitable for nuclear electric propulsion. The power is in the 200-500MWth range and modular for scalability of mission needs. The concept could be potentially extended to terrestrial applications by replacing the space radiator with a liquid metal heat exchanger, and replace the cesium injector with a noble gas injector and use the hot noble gas after the separation in a turbine to boost the efficiency of the power plant. © 2012 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.
author list (cited authors)
Rosaire, G., & Tsvetkov, P.