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Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Dynamic Modeling with Modelica...

by Jordan D Rader, Michael B Smith, Michael S Greenwood, Thomas J Harrison
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS)
Publication Date
Page Number
Conference Name
Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS 2019)
Conference Location
Richland, Washington, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
American Nuclear Society, Aerospace Nuclear Science and Technology Division
Conference Date

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is participating in the nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) research and development effort supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This effort involves collaboration between multiple research groups, representing various government agencies and industry partners. ORNL has developed a Modelica-based modeling package for dynamic system modeling of nuclear reactors called the Transient Simulation Framework of Reconfigurable Models (TRANSFORM). While this software has been successfully demonstrated in simulations of traditional pressurized-water reactors, boiling-water reactors, liquid-metal reactors and molten-salt reactors, it has also been adapted for non-traditional use in modeling hybrid energy systems, and tritium transport. This versatility is being applied to the current NTP project, where specific modules within TRANSFORM are being developed for and applied to transient modeling of the NASA NTP design. This paper presents the current state of the ORNL-NTP model, the utility of TRANSFORM methodologies in NTP transient simulations, the ability to develop NTP-specific modules, and future work for the model.