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Offline Marlin

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The bulk of the information is in a PDF linked to the article. I pasted the Conclusion for those who want the "Cliff Notes"

Innovation in Nuclear Energy Technologies: Implications for US National Defense

IV. Conclusion
   The new generation of smaller nuclear energy technologies, under development by the US private sector in collaboration with DOE, has the potential to contribute significantly to the future US defense posture and the increasing electrification, decarbonization, resiliency, and digitalization of US military systems. Although many of the military applications for advanced nuclear reactors are unlikely to be deployed commercially, the primary DOD application of advanced nuclear technologies—i.e., providing reliable, low-carbon energy to smaller grids or more remote areas—is likely to become commercially available, and it could have a dramatic impact on global energy systems and on US nuclear exports. As the naval reactor program has shown, there is significant overlap between civilian and military supply chains, both for personnel (i.e., individuals who are trained to operate nuclear submarines have a skillset that is useful in working in the civilian nuclear energy sector) and material. This will presumably continue to be the case, even for individuals who work on military-only applications of advanced reactors, such as directed-energy weapons or spacecraft. There has been notable progress in innovative reactor designs, led primarily by the private sector, over the last several years. However, in the United States, the private sector has looked to the US government for financial support. In order to leverage DOD procurement to enable commercialization of MNRs, the US Army should consider taking the following steps:

 • Demonstrate the features that will enable the safe operation of new nuclear technologies in remote, or even dangerous, locations;
•Take steps—such as concluding agreements with host countries that are similar to those that the US Navy has with countries that provide harbor for its naval reactors—to address international safety and nuclear safeguards concerns; •Through Congressional funding, DOD should continue to support Project Pele;
• Work effectively with the NRC through the regulatory process;
• Invest in the development of advanced fuels to power new nuclear reactors;
• Consider that the competition with Russia and China is not merely a race for nuclear energy capabilities, but rather a question of trade agreements with third party countries, and advocate for the US government to value nuclear energy accordingly.

   In the absence of state-owned nuclear enterprises, the US military has a critical role to play in speeding the commercialization of advanced nuclear reactors that have the potential to provide large quantities of low-carbon energy in the United States and internationally. If DOD can help bring first-of-a-kind advanced reactors to demonstration and commercialization, then private companies will be more able to afford making nth-ofa-kind reactors. A more robust nuclear energy sector will bolster the US civil nuclear export program, which is integral to US national security.
« Last Edit: Sep 15, 2020, 12:20 by Marlin »


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