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DOD Seeks Public Input for Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Mobile Nuclear Microreactor

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Mobile Nuclear
Mobile Nuclear Microreactor

The Strategic Capabilities Office of the Department of Defense is seeking input for the recently published draft environmental impact statement for the development of a transportable advanced nuclear microreactor prototype. 

The mobile microreactor, intended to augment the National Environmental Policy Act, is under SCO’s Project Pele, a fourth-generation nuclear reactor that could serve as a front-runner for the technology’s commercialization once it is prototyped, the DOD said Friday. 

The prototype system will be designed to reduce carbon emissions, operate for three years, supply up to five megawatts of electrical power and deliver new tools in support of disaster relief and critical infrastructure efforts. 

Earlier in March, the department tapped BWX Technologies and X-energy to work on the preliminary design of Project Pele’s prototype and perform independent development groundworks for the next phase of the initiative. 

One of the two companies could potentially be selected to create and demonstrate the prototype after the environmental analysis under NEPA and final design review in early 2022 are conducted.

The DOD is encouraging the public to submit comments on the EIS during the 45-day period, noting that two public hearings will take place in Idaho and the livestream will be available online on Oct. 20.