NRX (nuclear reactors)

NRX was a series of nuclear reactors designed and built as part of the NERVA program. They were developed to show that the KIWI-B4 series from the Rover program could be adapted to withstand launch loads such as those of vibration and shock. The NRX series progressively added components consistent with a rocket engine capability and began demonstrating restart capability and controllability. The other reactor series developed during the NERVA program was XE-Prime. See also nuclear propulsion.


XE-Prime series summary
project date max power
burn time
NRX-A2 Sep. 24, 1964 1,096 40
NRX-A3 Apr. 23, 1965 1,093 210
  May 20, 1965 1,072 792
NRX-A4/EST Mar. 1966 1,055 1,740
NRX-A5 Jun. 1966 1,120 1,776
NRX-A6 Dec. 15, 1967 1,125 3,720


NRX A-6 performance parameters
Reactor power (MWt) 1,125
Flow rate (kg/s) 32.7
Fuel exit temp (K) 2,472
Chamber temp (K) 2,342
Chamber pressure (MPa) 4.13
Core inlet temp (K) 128
Core inlet pressure (MPa) 4.96
Reflector inlet temp (K) 84
Reflector inlet pressure (MPa) 5.19
Periphery & structural flow (kg/s) 0.4