Small Nuclear Reactors – Project Pele

Presented: August 13, 2020 12:00 pm
Presented by: Dr. Jeff Waksman, Ph.D.

The Defense Science Board has identified energy as one of the main enablers of future military operations and has noted that military energy usage could grow significantly in the near future, outpacing improvements to alternative energy sources. In March of 2020, the Pentagon issued several contracts to facilitate a design work “competition” for mobile, small nuclear reactors, and the winning prototype will potentially be forward deployed with forces outside the United States. The project is managed through the Strategic Capabilities Office’s “Project Pele” which was formed to ensure the safe development of mobile and advanced nuclear microreactors for a variety of DoD missions. Desired features for the new reactors include quick set-up, shut-down, and the ability to facilitate rapid movement by road, sea, air, or train. This prototyping project will ensure that critical functions remain operational regardless of the status of the local power grid and allow users to combat physical or cyber espionage from weak grids.


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