Academic Lectures / Courses
2022-2023 Nuclear Reactor Design Presentation
Department / Organization: NSE
The 22-23 Nuclear Reactor Design class will be presenting their design for a nuclear reactor to provide lunar surface power.
"With renewed interest in space exploration and plans for establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon, a reliable and sustainable power source is essential for mission success. The lunar surface environment is harsh, with extreme temperatures, long periods of darkness, and exposure to space radiation. A nuclear reactor can provide a continuous and dependable source of power for lunar activity. Multiple projects, such as Los Alamos’s Kilopower and NASA’s SAFE, have demonstrated potential designs for reactors for space applications. The technical specifications for these systems are also informed and constrained by ongoing proposals and existing delivery platforms. The 2023 Nuclear Reactor Design team has worked over the past year to design a lunar surface reactor to meet the needs of a lunar mission. The proposed reactor features a HALEU core, control drums, lithium hydride and tungsten shielding, and heat pipes connected to a Brayton cooling cycle. Using MCNP, SOLIDWORKS, and other coding software, students developed models to optimize their lunar reactor design, and will present their work to conclude the project."
The presentation will be fully remote and open to any interested members of the Mines Community. The presentation will run from 1:30-3:30 pm on Monday May 8th on Zoom: https://mines.zoom.us/j/92793430459