1964-01-01

Reliability as a Criterion in Nuclear Space Powerplant Design 640223

The design of nuclear powerplants for space applications is complicated by the lack of reliability data. Analagous operating data on 14 turbine-generator units are described; equations and illustrations are presented to illustrate the data. Material compatibility; system integrity and the means to achieve it; problems encountered with moving parts; and the reliability of electronic components are discussed in relation to system design. It is concluded that as simple a system as possible with a minimum number of components is necessary to attain a high degree of system reliability. Furthermore, an exceptionally high level of engineering competance will be required, and design philosophy will have to differ greatly from that presently used for other types of powerplants.

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