The Department of Defense will build a prototype mobile nuclear microreactor to meet energy demands of US military

The Defense Science Board recommended that the department build small modular reactors in order to meet its increasing energy requirements.
The Department of Defense will examine the final prototype designs of two teams in early 2022.

Critics claimed to the Associated Press, that opponents could target microreactors during transport.

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According to the Associated Press, the US Department of Defense is inviting public comments on a prototype mobile nuclear microreactor it intends to assemble at the Idaho National Laboratory.

According to the environmental impact statement, the department's enormous energy consumption of 30 terawatthours of electricity per annum and more than 10,000,000 gallons per day is expected to rise significantly in the coming years.

According to the environmental impact statement, the Defense Science Board was commissioned by the department and recommended that it deploy small modular reactors in order to meet its growing energy needs. Micronuclear reactors are small nuclear reactors capable of producing between 1-50 megawatts each and can be operated independently from the electric grids.

According to a March press release, BWXT Advance Technologies, Virginia, and X-energy, Maryland are working on final designs for the prototype. The department will review the designs in the early 2022. The release stated that one of the two teams could be chosen to build and display a prototype after the environmental analysis is complete.

A safe, small, portable nuclear reactor would meet this growing demand while providing a reliable, non-carbon-intensive energy source that does no additional fuel consumption and supports mission-critical operations in remote or difficult environments," said a Department of Defense press release.

Nevertheless, critics voiced concerns to the Associated Press about microreactors being targeted by US adversaries, especially during transportation.

Edwin Lyman, director of the non-profit Nuclear Power Safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists stated to the Associated Press that "these reactors could cause more logistical difficulties and risks for troops and property than it would solve problems." "And unless the Army is prepared to spend the necessary money to make these reactors safe, particularly in possible combat situations or foreign operational bases, I believe it's likely unwise to deploy them in theaters of conflict without the protection they need."