Safe Operating Practices for Space Fission Reactors
ASTM International’s commercial spaceflight committee (F47) is developing a proposed standard (WK86387) that introduces a new practice for safe operating practices in space for space fission reactors used for nuclear power and propulsion.
“The proposed application relates to the design, development, testing, and deployment of space reactors as it relates to off-Earth operation of these systems for providing power or propulsion in transportation or planetary surface settings,” according to ASTM member Donald Helton.
According to Helton, nuclear flight safety officer at NASA, the goal of this standard is working to “develop a codified, consensus state-of-practice that can be used as a benchmark by the developers, analyzers, and evaluators of space reactors when assessing and assuring safety during in-space reactor operations.”
Inspiration for this activity stems from NASA’s Report of the Interagency Space Reactor Standards Working Group, a study that evaluated sparse regulations and standards in space reactor design and safety.
All interested parties are encouraged to contribute to the development of WK86387 by contacting Katerina Koperna at the email address listed below. The committee is specifically looking for subject matter experts and practitioners in this topical area.
ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at www.astm.org/JOIN.