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U.S. Air Force is Looking at Nuclear Power

From the Heritage Foundation's blog:
According to a recent article in Energy and Environment News, the Air Force is planning to build a 100-225 megawatt nuclear power reactor. It will not only provide affordable, reliable electricity to an Air Force base, which has yet to be chosen, but will also be used as a power source for the local community. This is a departure from the usual news regarding the comeback of nuclear power. These stories generally revolve around plans to build large, 1000-1600 megawatt commercial reactors to increase power supplies to consumers that rely on the current electricity grid (also known as base load capacity expansion).

While such planning certainly signals a new day for nuclear power, it does not necessarily represent the full scope of a true nuclear renaissance. The Air Force’s decision, however, demonstrates a growing recognition that nuclear energy has applications beyond simple base load expansion. And that is an indication that a nuclear renaissance is truly underway.
Be sure to read the rest.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Sounds like the Air Force will use a modified Navy aircraft carrier reactor. Too bad they might be unwilling to use Rod Adams' small gas cooled reactor idea. Maybe Rod should contact the Air Force.
Anonymous said…
It doesn't appear to be the Air Force's idea. They are looking into it because Sen. Domenici and Craig asked them to.

Frankly, I'm not seeing the logic. There is no compelling need domestically. The US grid is pretty reliable and any mission critical loads could be supplied temporarily with generators just like hospitals do. For any number of reasons building one on a foreign base would be horrendously problematic. At least subs and carriers can be asked to leave. How would a country tell the Air Force to go and take its 100 MW power plant with it?
Anonymous said…
In response to:

The US grid is pretty reliable and any mission critical loads could be supplied temporarily with generators just like hospitals do.

That is fine as long as foreign oil isn't cut off in a global conflict.

The Air Force is trying to become independent form foreign energy as a strategic goal. DARPA is heavily funding coal to jet fuel and natural gas to jet fuel research in the attempt to provide for domestic sources.

Having fossil fuel independent electricity helps significantly towards this goal.

-Matthew B.
Anonymous said…
How would a country tell the Air Force to go and take its 100 MW power plant with it?

Maybe something like this:

A Small, Mobile, Molten-Salt Reactor for Remote Power, DOC, 3.2MB

Presentation PPT, 2.7MB

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