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First a comment on military smrs – then the enthusiastic article about them

spikedpsycho169, 18 Jan 21, Small reactors on a battlefield where the enemy now has suicide drones, rpg’s and homemade rockets. What could possibly go wrong.? Other than electricity, reactors have little use on a field of combat. Some advocate the production of liquid fuels using in situ resources like ammonia, methanol, etc made using ambient materials like air/water. That requires temperatures above 600-800 degrees celsius, Which no reactor currently operates.  
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 Reactors for powering non-combat or heavily defended bases is one thing. Building one for a FOB or MASH is prohibitively expensive and should the base be overrun or abandoned, how do you take it with you. A running reactor would irradiate it’s environment EVERYwhere it went. the ml-1 reactor needed 1000 feet exclusion zone; and That’s why commercial plants have these..

 

White House Accelerates Development Of Mini Nuclear Reactors For Space And The Battlefield

The order looks to accelerate and integrate the development of highly mobile nuclear reactors for space and the terrestrial battlefield.   BY BRETT TINGLEY JANUARY 16, 2021

President Trump issued an Executive Order on January 12 that aims to promote small, modular nuclear reactors for defense and space exploration applications. According to a press statement issued by the White House, the order will “further revitalize the United States nuclear energy sector, reinvigorate America’s space exploration program, and produce diverse energy options for national defense needs.” 

The order instructs NASA’s administrator to prepare a report within 180 days that will define NASA’s requirements and foreseeable issues for developing a nuclear energy system for human and robotic exploratory missions through 2040. The order also calls for a “Common Technology Roadmap” between NASA and the Departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce, and State for implementing new reactor technologies. The full text of the Executive Order can be read at WhiteHouse.gov ………

Section 4 of the Executive Order goes into further detail about the DoD’s energy needs, and outlines the role the Department of Defense will play in this new initiative to develop mobile nuclear reactors …….

The Executive Order also outlines a Common Technology Roadmap that “describes potential development programs and that coordinates, to the extent practicable, terrestrial-based advanced nuclear reactor and space-based nuclear power and propulsion efforts” between the Departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce, State, and NASA. This roadmap will also require “assessments of foreign nations’ space nuclear power and propulsion technological capabilities.” Naturally, one of the most pressing concerns with any nuclear technology is national security, and thus the order also instructs the DoD to work together with NASA and other agencies to identify security issues associated with any potential space-based nuclear systems.

With this new Executive Order, the White House seeks to propel the United States to the forefront of all of the work being conducted in compact reactor research. While the wording in the statement focuses more on space exploration, the Department of Defense’s involvement is highly important. Since space environments are similar in that resupply is a tricky, if not impossible, endeavor, NASA could help jump-start the DoD’s mobile nuclear program even further if both are really working on it collaboratively, although the requirements will be somewhat different. “There’s sometimes a risk of forcing too much commonality,” a White House official told SpaceNews.com. “What this executive order does is ensure that there is a deliberate look at what those opportunities may be.”

If realized, the Executive Order’s accompanying statement reads, this initiative could lead to a “transportable small modular reactor for a mission other than naval propulsion for the first time in half a century.” 

Contact the author: Brett@TheDrive.com https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38687/white-house-accelerates-development-of-mini-nuclear-reactors-for-space-and-the-battlefield

 

January 19, 2021 - Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA, weapons and war

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