The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has licensed three companies a contract to develop mobile nuclear microreactors for military applications under a campaign called Project Pele under the Office of Strategic Capability (SCO),media reported. The contract, valued at between $11,953,036 and $14,309,000, will fund the first two years of the design phase, after which only one company will be selected to build a prototype reactor for it.
The U.S. military is probably the most powerful in the world and it is the world’s most energy-needed. According to DOD, the department needs 30 terawatt hours of electricity and more than 10 million gallons of fuel per day, and that number sits.
The three companies are understood to be BWX Technologies, Westinghouse Services and X-energy. They will work with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Nuclear Safety Administration and others to quickly build working prototype microreactors and guide them in assessment, safety analysis, construction, and testing.
While the MoD says the reactors are aimed at carrying and running for long periods of time anywhere in the world without the need for expensive power infrastructure, it is unclear what they will look like. In addition, they will be used for civilian applications, including disaster relief or power supply to remote communities.
Project Pele’s engineering phase will take up to two years, according to the Defense Department, after which they will assess whether the microreactors meet safety requirements.
“The Unique thing about the Pele project is the mobility and safety of the reactor,” said Jeff Waksman, Project Pele’s manager. Fast-moving and fast-installed and shut-down systems that are designed to be secure in their own right. “