[FPSPACE] nuclear reactors in outer space
thomsona at flash.net
Fri Jun 4 08:33:57 EDT 2004
> How long can a nuclear rector operate before the need for refueling?
(nuclear rector: an atomic cleric)
Ahem. It depends... Modern naval reactors can go a decade or more between
refuelings(*). SP-100, which is probably most relevant to current space
reactor proposals, was intended to have an operating life of seven years.
Within broad limits, operating life is under the control of the designers,
so the answer "as long as needed" is reasonably valid.
(*) Which is just as well. For submarines, refueling involves *cutting a big
hole in the pressure hull and welding it shut again.* Truly scary major
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