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 CANOGA PARK, Calif., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Rockwell International Corp. (NYSE: ROK) today announced that it has received permission from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to award a Russian firm a subcontract for technology support on a $20 million program to design a 40 kilowatt thermionic space nuclear power system.
 Last April, the DOE selected Rockwell's Rocketdyne Division and another company to conduct concurrent 28-month Phase I research, development and demonstration programs leading to a conceptual design review of thermionic space nuclear power systems in September 1994.
 Authorization to go forward with the work follows State Department concurrence with the DOE contracting action and approval of an export license to permit the transfer of unclassified data needed by the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) in Obninsk, Russia, to provide design guidance in selected areas.
 "Our agreement with IPPE, with the concurrence of the appropriate U.S. agencies, is part of a continuing effort by Rockwell and various Commonwealth of Independent States companies to work toward a long- term relationship on space projects of mutual interest," said Sam F. Iacobellis, Rockwell's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
 In addition, Rockwell's commercial businesses continue to work with other CIS companies on a number of projects.
 Rocketdyne's association with IPPE will allow Rockwell to draw on the Russian organization's experience as developers of the Russian TOPAZ-1 thermionic nuclear reactor.
 "This approval marks the successful culmination of a process that began in April 1992," said Robert D. Paster, president of Rocketdyne Division.
 IPPE tasks will include the testing of advanced thermionic components (insulators, in-gap spacers, hydrogen management devices) to demonstrate their potential for being incorporated into the Rocketdyne design.
 In the performance of these tasks, IPPE will work closely with General Atomics in San Diego, a major Rocketdyne subcontractor, which has responsibility for designing reactor and thermionic power conversion subsystems.
 "Our hope is that we will be able to expand the scope of IPPE's support as these initial tasks produce beneficial results and the U.S. thermionic program proceeds into the next phase, which will be a flight demonstration program for the launch of a 40 kilowatt system around the year 2000," Paster said.
 Following Phase I, an optional 12-month Phase II program will continue development efforts until a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in September 1995.
 The goal of the three-year program is to provide the conceptual design and technology demonstration of a thermionic space nuclear power system in the range of five to 40 kilowatts for future satellite missions.
 Rockwell International Corp. is a multiindustry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 1/28/93
 /CONTACT: Kristy Varnes, 818-586-4252, or Jeff Charney, 818-586-2213, both of Rockwell/

CO: Rockwell International Corp.; Rocketdyne ST: California IN: ARO SU: CON

MS-JL -- LA026 -- 0315 01/28/93 13:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 28, 1993

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