Friday, June 3, 2016

Navy eyes miniature nuclear reactors to power its bases

While nearly a fifth of the Navy’s ships run on nuclear power, the only land-based nuclear reactors the service operates are for training purposes. But Mabus said this week he wants to explore the concept of installing small, modular nuclear reactors on bases to continue their push toward independence from off-base energy.
Rather than the large, utility-scale nuclear plants currently in use by civilian power companies, Mabus said he envisions a system of small, “distributed” nuclear generators networked together via a microgrid on a given base.
“With some of the new technology that’s coming along, it’s much safer, it produces far less residue and nuclear waste, and it is an option that I think we should explore,” he said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York this week. “In every source of energy, whether it’s solar or conventional energy, it’s becoming much more distributed where you generate and store energy exactly where you use it. We’re looking at nuclear in the same way, but we haven’t gotten there yet.”  more