Nuclear Science:

Usefulness of Space Power Research to Ground-Based Nuclear Reactor Systems

RCED-89-17: Published: Dec 6, 1988. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 1988.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO surveyed nuclear power systems experts on the potential usefulness of space nuclear power systems research to the development of civilian terrestrial nuclear power systems.

GAO found that: (1) experts expected that the Department of Energy's (DOE) SP-100 Space Power Program and Multimegawatt Space Nuclear Power Program (MMW) would provide useful knowledge to: (1) advanced liquid metal- and gas-cooled terrestrial reactor development in the areas of fuel and fuel systems, materials, heat transport, instrumentation, control methodology, safety, reliability, and modeling and analysis techniques; and (2) water-cooled terrestrial systems only in generic areas, such as reactor instrumentation and control, since space power research involved liquid metal and gas concepts. GAO also found that: (1) design differences between space and terrestrial hardware components limited technology transfer; and (2) SP-100 was less likely than MMW to produce useful technology. In addition, GAO found that the degree of technology transfer depended on: (1) DOE dissemination of space power research results; (2) sufficient funding of space and advanced terrestrial programs; and (3) the resolution of institutional problems, including problems with licensing, financing, and public perception.

Nov 19, 2020

Oct 29, 2020

Oct 15, 2020

Jul 24, 2020

Jun 24, 2020

Jun 9, 2020

May 13, 2020

May 12, 2020

Apr 29, 2020

  • energy icon, source: Art Explosion

    Priority Open Recommendations:

    Department of Energy
    GAO-20-285PR: Published: Apr 22, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2020.

Apr 17, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here