20,000 SHP NUCLEAR PROPULSION SYSTEM FOR TANKER. VOLUME 3: REACTOR

The nuclear system designed for a 38,000 DWT tanker is a closed-cycle, helium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor utilizing highly enriched fuel. The helium enters the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel at 768 F and approximately 1000 psi in the annulus between two concentric pipes. The upward flow of the helium between the inside walls of the pressure vessel and the outside of the reflector keeps the temperature of the pressure vessel at approximately that of the incoming gas. The gas flows into a top plenum chamber and down through individual core channels. It emerges from the bottom of the core at 1300 F and flows out of the pressure vessel. The maximum fuel element surface temperature of 1600 F is a compromise between low temperatures favoring long fuel element life and low fission product diffusion, and the high surface temperature desired for high thermal efficiencies. The use of fully enriched fuel results in higher fuel costs; however, the reactor can be developed on a shorter time scale with less development cost.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document is available for review at the Department of Commerce Library, Main Commerce Building, Washington, D.C., under reference number G-3-TW-Vol-3. See MRIS 026043, V1; MRIS 026044, V2.
  • Corporate Authors:

    General Motors Corporation

    Warren, MI  USA  48090
  • Publication Date: 1957-4-1

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 407 p.
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 3

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00026045
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Maritime Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Final Rpt
  • Contract Numbers: MA-1252
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 13 1973 12:00AM