As the U.S. military has finalized a space for its first micro-nuclear reactor. The Department of Air Force has chosen the Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Alaska to introduce this next-generation energy capability, a press release said.
The US military has been inclining towards electronic warfare along with nuclear reactors for cleaner sources of energy. Last month, we reported that the Department of Defense was planning to install a portable nuclear reactor in Idaho.
It is also being said that the micro-reactor pilot is being built in response to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 that requires potential locations to be identified to build and operate a microreactor before 2027. The Air Force will work in collaboration with the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to execute the project of the micro-reactor pilot, and to ensure this pilot is conducted with safety as the number one priority, the press release said. This facility will have a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and will operate commercially.
“Micro-reactors are a promising technology for ensuring energy resilience and reliability, and are particularly well-suited for powering and heating remote domestic military bases like Eielson AFB,” said Mark Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety, and Infrastructure.
Eielson AFB is located 110 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It depends on a coal-based power plant to meet its energy requirements. As temperatures drop 50 degrees below zero, two locomotives at the AFB move up to 1000 tons of coal every day to the power plant in the coldest months of the year, an older press release states.
Besides being a solution to the heating problem of the planet, the nuclear reactor will also push propulsion in space and power human settlements on faraway planets such as Mars.