Pentagon Quietly Develops Mini Portable Nuclear Reactor

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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has selected two companies for the development of mini portable nuclear reactors for military use in the field.

BWXT Advanced Technologies and X-energy were selected by the Department of Defense’s Office of Strategic Capabilities United States of America (USA) to continue with Project Pele, which seeks to develop a reactor with an output of 1 to 5 megawatts that can last at least three years at full power.

In addition, the reactor must be designed to operate within three days of delivery and can be safely moved within seven days if required.

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The two companies, along with Westinghouse Government Services, were each awarded an initial contract of less than $ 15 million in March 2020 to start design work.

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The final draft will be submitted to the Office of Strategic Capabilities in 2022, during which time the Department of Defense will make a decision on whether to continue testing the system.

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