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Here's my new pride, the permanent moderator type Plutonium-239 reactor at Mercury thermos transfers and anti-overheating grade guarantee EA-Premium-Cat-2 :()

To properly transfer the heat from the pellets to the Tungstene-Carbine, you need a permanent contact zone, so I propose Tin. In the Tungstene tubes, circulate Hg, for the same reasons. The point is that I need a maximum of dry heat exchange, in case something goes wrong, so as not to jeopardize the security of the core, therefore the reactor and the mission ...

With Tungstene tubes, which will act as heat exchangers and as a carrier for the heating liquid, I can afford to produce more power with less risk.

Major problem, the temperature of the heart can not exceed the boiling point of Plutonium, which will make it all inefficient and expensive. My first estimate, to be reviewed, give a maximum calculated Mars temperature of -10 ° C (not to exceed under penalty of losing power permanently), less than 50 kg of Plutonium-239 per base, for a power of 500 kilowatt.

The Plutonium stocks : (My new reactor is telerant to Pu-240, no need of military grade)

Country | Plutonium-239 (kg) |
---|---|

Great-Britain | 112 000 |

USA | 100 000 |

France | 75 000 |

Russia | 50 000 |

The general principle of operation is the following: The plutonium mixture will produce heat following the following reaction:

- Under conditions of subcriticality at the height of 50,001% of the critical mass, ie that each neutron at 50,001% chance to produce two other neutrons (see the estimate Coarser further).
- The mass of Plutonium will grow under the effect of heat and lose criticality to stabilize at a density X-cat.
- The secondary reaction with the U-238, will produce thermal energy (the whole must be taken into consideration with critical mass), longer delays for retarded neutrons. (almost obsolete)
- Tungsten-carbon, will reflect some neutrons, to decrease critical mass and save money.
- Various security systems will be in place, containment of Plutonium in pure tungsten (evaporation of overcriticality if appropriate, "very little chance"), Tin is Will mix with Plutonium, if it becomes liquid.
- Various system of thermal controls, such as sensors and a passive heat dissipation system in tungsten.
- Anti-wind wall, for the profitability of the thermal process, and therefore the possibility of modifying this shelter, but it is not mandatory.
- Two independent systems of mercury circulating pumps, not to lose a reactor, and more than 100 units of plutonium, for safety reasons:
- Martian Air not saturated with heat
- Possible loss of hearts, which should not affect the total amount of electrical production

All this computation are relative to the criticality of an atomic Plutonium bomb at a diameter of 9 cm, with the neutron deflector. At that size, we know that the probability of producing 2 neutron by the occurrence of one neutron is close to 50+%. This fact will allow the reactor to produced self-sustain heat. Data:

- Rayon: 0.045 m
- Density of Sigma Phase: 15.85 g/cm³
- Atomic weight: 239 g/mol
- Contamination (purity): 5%

By the simulation software this configuration gives a barn surface for a probability of 50.079% of about: 2.895 b

- Rayon: 0.04396 m
- Density of Sigma Phase: 17 g/cm³
- Atomic weight: 239 g/mol
- Contamination (purity): 5%
- barn surface: 2.895 b

By the simulation software, this configuration give a probability of 52.372%. The delta % of two phase = 2.293%, that amount could be lost in further contamination, with a safety margin of 0.293%, it gives 2% net lost.

0.293% gives a radius delta of about 50 micron. The subsequent contamination will need to be in order of 4.25% to fill the 2% probability left. This 4.25% of contamination could gives this amount of energy:

83.61E12 J/kg of fissile Pu-239

18 000 W of power for the reactor

2.153E-7 g/s of Pu-239

1 Years = 365 * 24 * 3600 = 3.15E7 s

The 4.25% give: 0.0425 * 6 kg(Pu-239) = 255 g

This 255 g could be constituted of 1/3 neutron depletion cycle

2.153E-7 g/s * 3.15E7 s = 6.79 g

255 g * (1/3) / 6.79 g = 12 years

1% gives a radius delta of about 0.17 mm. The subsequent contamination will need to be in order of 2.75% to fill the 1.293% probability left. This 2.75% of contamination could gives this amount of energy:

83.61E12 J/kg of fissile Pu-239

18 000 W of power for the reactor, thermal that gives 15 000 W electric

2.153E-7 g/s of Pu-239

1 Years = 365 * 24 * 3600 = 3.15E7 s

The 2.75% give: 0.0275 * 6 kg(Pu-239) = 165 g

This 165 g could be constituted of 1/3 neutron depletion cycle

2.153E-7 g/s * 3.15E7 s = 6.79 g

165 g *(1/3) / 6.79 g = 8 years

In the configuration, of 9 cm Diameter, it will need few reflectors to put the mass on over criticality, so we will have to take care of this operation. To achieved a maximum lifetime, it is required to get close to this limit...

By getting the core at a temperature of 310 or 500°C with a power rate lower than the reaction rate of change of the crystalline network, we will achieve to stay within the limit.

The critical mass of Plutonium is well know, since the appearing of the atomic bomb. Wikipedia: A spherical untamped critical mass is about 11 kg (24.2 lbs), 10.2 cm (4") in diameter. Using appropriate triggers, neutron reflectors, implosion geometry and tampers, this critical mass can be reduced by more than twofold.

The core will need to be heated to 350°C, and keep at this minimum temperature before being put in the reactor where the deflector will make it under critical by 1-2%. After, it will be need to heat it up to 500°C without being close to it, to start it definitively... At 500°C it will be critical over 0.01-0.001%. Or let it cool down to 310°C to start it.