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NERVA COMPONENTS IRRADIATION PROGRAM VOLUME 1: GTR TEST 4.
GENERAL DYNAMICS FORT WORTH TX NUCLEAR AEROSPACE RESEARCH FACILITY
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Various components proposed for use in the NERVA engine were subjected to radiation from the Ground Test Reactor a swimming-pool type reactor at the Nuclear Aerospace Research Facility NARF. Some components were irradiated at ambient temperature, some at 700 F, and some at cryogenic temperatures. Components in the latter category included accelerometers and LVDTs, pressure transducers, resisttance thermometers, strain gages WANL, and a control-drum bearing. The accelerometers and LVDTs were placed in one dewar, the rest in a second dewar. Liquid nitrogen was used as the cryogen. Problems in the use of liquid nitrogen arose early in the test. Detonations occurred in both dewars, making it necessary to continue the test with gaseous, rather than liquid, nitrogen. Temperatures were restricted to a low of -170 F. The detonations in the dewars damaged some of the components, signal leads, and dynamic test assemblies, so that it was difficult in some instances to determine the effects of radiation from the effect of the detonations. Observations made before, during, and after the irradiation are described for each type of component.
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