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Development of the generation III (ATR generation I) Plutonium-238 production target design

by Nicholas G Russell, Richard H Howard, Kurt R Smith
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Applied Radiation and Isotopes
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A domestic supply chain to produce 238Pu fuel for radioisotope thermoelectric generators is critical for enabling future space exploration. A multi-laboratory effort has worked to establish a common target design to efficiently produce 238Pu in two research reactors. This approach ensures that the annual production goals set forth by NASA are met, while also establishing redundant production capabilities. This paper describes the effort to develop the common target design as well as considerations for future applications for the irradiation platform.