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Metal cooled reactors have several advantages over pressurized water reactors. For one, their power density is greater, additionally, the coolant is unpressurized, improving safety. However, there are some downsides. The Soviets' Project 705 class submarines were powered by liquid metal reactors utilizing a lead-bismuth alloy as coolant. This alloy had a freezing temperature of roughly 400K. As a result, the reactors had to be run constantly, even while the submarines were in port (there were facilities to provide superheated steam to the reactors while the subs were docked, but they broke
I recently began a class on nuclear rocket propulsion, and one of the first topics covered was various nuclear rocket cycles. I'll do my best to explain them using amazing MS Paint drawings and words. The first is the hot bleed cycle. In this cycle, some propellant does not go through the reactor, but is instead shunted off in a different direction. This is mixed with some of the propellant that has passed through the reactor, but not out the rocket nozzle, creating a relatively hot stream of propellant. This propellant is passed through a turbine, which then powers the fuel pump. Aft
Not Three Mile Island (which was laughably insignificant compared to popular reception), but SL-1. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ed1_1387144246&use_old_player=0 Protip: Don't design reactors with a single control rod. If you do design a reactor with a single control rod, don't move the control rod with your bare hands. A fatal case of Impaled-to-the-Ceiling Syndrome may result.
An interesting approach to cooling the nuclear fuel; http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-liquid-jet-super-flux-reactor.html If you're able to keep your fuel cooler, you can increase your neutron flux, and with it your power density. This could be highly important in applications where you're space or mass limited. Such as, for instance, a submarine, or a rocket engine.