Accession Number:

AD0608784

Title:

ELECTRON AND PROTON FLUXES IN THE TRAPPED RADIATION BELTS ORIGINATING FROM AN ORBITING NUCLEAR REACTOR

Descriptive Note:

Air Force Surveys in Geophysics

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS HANSCOM AFB MA

Report Date:

1964-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

A simple calculation is done to determine the effects of an orbiting nuclear reactor on the trapped radiation belts. A SNAP-50 reactor, in an equatorial orbit at 1000 km and operating at 8 megwthrm for a period of one year, is considered as a source of low energy electrons and protons. Neutrons escaping from the reactor decay into electrons and protons and these can become trapped in the earths magnetic field. Hence, they contribute to the natural fluxes in the radiation belts. Three different source problems are considered 1. those neutrons which decay within one kilometer of the reactor 2. those neutrons which decay within the entire inner radiation belt 3. those neutrons which decay within the entire outer radiation belt. In each region the average equilibrium of reactor-produced electron and proton fluxes at the equator are calculated after reactor operation for one year. These fluxes are compared to the average natural electron and proton fluxes in the regions, and the reactor- produced fluxes are found to be less than 0.1 percent of the natural fluxes in all three cases. All assumptions and calculations are presented in sufficient detail to allow updating with more recent or more exact information.

Subject Categories:

  • Radioactivity, Radioactive Wastes and Fission Products

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE