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The US military wants to create a portable nuclear reactor that it can carry on critical missions

The United States Department of Defense has begun the implementation of a singular objective: the creation of nuclear microreactors than to be able to deploy “in remote and austere environments”.

The idea is not new, but its application in the military field worries critics who point out that these reactors could become targets in themselves. For the US military the goal is clear: they do not want to increase their dependence and huge current spending on electricity and fuel.

Removable reactors

Wind energy and solar energy are not good options for this purpose, point out those responsible for the initiative: are problematic due to their limitations in terms of location, weather or available area, in addition to requiring redundant power supplies.

In the Department of Defense they indicate that they already use 30 TWh of electricity per year and more than 37.9 million liters of fuel per day, and they will need more and more electricity with the expected transition to fleets of electric vehicles.

This makes the nuclear microreactor project of particular importance for this organization, which aligns itself with a country that continues to bet without fear on nuclear energy. The objective is to achieve that produce between one and five megawatts of power and that is “safe and small” to be able to transport it “in critical missions in austere and remote surroundings”.

They are already starting to receive proposals for a plan that would develop and build this microreactor at the Idaho National Laboratory, which has been working on this type of initiative for a long time.

For critics – and not just on this specific project – those nuclear microreactors pose significant problems, as they could become targets for potential US enemies on those remote missions. Edwin Lyman, from the NGO Nuclear Power Safety, explained that these reactors “could cause more logistical problems and risks to the troops than the problems they would solve. “

Among the objectives of the project is that these microreactors produce energy within three days of their shipment, and can be “disassembled” in seven days. The Department of Defense is expected to make a final decision on the project in early 2022.

Via | AP News