In the March issue of DTI, Sharon Weinberger looks into plans being formed by several companies to sell the Pentagon small nuclear reactors for use at military installations around the world:
In the 1980s, the Pentagon was so concerned about the ability of the military to maintain power essential for operations after a Soviet nuclear attack that it considered installing small nuclear reactors at bases around the world. More than 20 years later, national security threats have changed, but the idea of having military bases equipped with small nuclear reactors is gaining currency, and companies are touting their designs to the Pentagon.
“From a defense point of view, if you need a micro-grid to ensure defense [installations] have secure power, even if interrupted by man-made or natural events, small reactors might provide a role,” says Paul Genoa, the director of policy development at the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute.
A number of companies, including Radix, are looking at marketing small, modular reactors—typically under 350 megawatts—to the military. Westinghouse, Babcock and Wilcox, NuScale and Hyperion Power Generation are also actively marketing reactors to customers, including the Pentagon.
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