RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND EVALUATION PROGRAM TO DEMONSTRATE PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY OF THERMIONIC DIODE CONVERTERS FOR NAVAL NUCLEAR REACTORS.
Semi-annual rept., 26 June-31 Dec 63.
RADIO CORP OF AMERICA LANCASTER PA
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Efforts were continued on a program to determine life and reliability of a thermionic energy converter designed for operation in a thermal reactor, and to refine the converter design to eliminate causes of failure. Design modifications to permit the inclusion of a fuel sleeve in the emitter of the A-1272 were made, and other modifications to improve converter performance were completed. High-stress and parametric tests were conducted. Detailed fabrication procedures were perfected. A system was established for recording all significant dimensions of converter components during fabrication these data will be used to determine the extent of structural changes occuring throughout converter life. Twelve converters were tested for high-stress and performance limits, 4 were subjected to extensive life tests and one to preliminary life testing. The four converters, without nuclear fuel, have operated for a total of 1248 hours on life test without failure. The first fueled converter failed during initial tests as a result of a thermal short caused by the evaporation of fuel onto heater parts. Author