• By The Financial District

Rolls Royce Joins U.S. Defense Dept's Microreactor Project

Rolls-Royce has confirmed that it will be working with BWXT, Northrop Grumman, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Torch Technologies to develop a nuclear microreactor for the US Department of Defense (DOD) under its Pele Project, which will broaden the use of nuclear energy across the US. Otilia Drăgan reported for AutoEvolution.


Photo Insert: Rolls Royce said the Pele Project will develop a high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) powered by TRISO fuel, a type of high-assay, low-enriched uranium fuel.



The goal is to switch to zero-carbon energy, which is needed not just for the environment but also in order to diminish dependence on fossil fuels and traditional suppliers. This microreactor concept is unique because it is transportable.


The system’s components will be organized in modules, using 20-foot-long (6 meters) shipping containers.



The modules can then be deployed anywhere, via road, rail, air, or sea. Once they arrive at the destination, it only takes 72 hours for the reactor system to be assembled on-site and to become operational, according to BWXT.


When it is time to shut down and be transported somewhere else, it takes less than seven days to complete the process, including cooling down and disconnecting the system.


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Rolls Royce said the Pele Project will develop a high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) powered by TRISO fuel, a type of high-assay, low-enriched uranium fuel. BWXT explained that the fuel was successfully tested at temperatures that are far greater than those at which the future reactor will operate.


The system’s power level will range between 1 megawatt (MW) and 5 MW. The team is gearing up to deliver the full-scale transportable nuclear microreactor prototype by 2024. Once completed, the prototype will be further tested at the National Idaho Laboratory. It will then officially become the first advanced nuclear microreactor in the US.



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