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Former SpaceX Employee Develops “Portable Nuclear Reactor” that Supplies 8 Years of Power for 1,000 Households

published: 2021-11-04 9:30

Is it possible for each household to acquire a small nuclear power plant that would eliminate shortages of electricity? Startup Radiant established by former employees of SpaceX is attempting to develop a “portable nuclear reactor”, with a prototype made at the same time, which acquired an Angel Fund of US$1.2 million that will be used on technical development and equipment testing.

As covered by foreign media New Atlas, Radiant is formed by a group of former SpaceX employees, who were previously responsible for the relevant studies on the SpaceX Mars Program. These employees believed that small nuclear reactors possess the largest development potential among previous studies, which brought to their decision in establishing Radiant, where they would research and develop small nuclear reactors that can be swiftly deployed and facilitate portability, with applications planned in remote areas, disaster areas, or basements.

Radiant claims that the particular portable nuclear reactor accentuates the utilization of “advanced nuclear fuel”. In contrast to traditional nuclear fuel, the fuel of Radiant is able to withstand a higher temperature that resists melting. The addition of a helium coolant also reduces the risks of corrosion, ebullition, and pollution by a greater margin compared to that of ordinary water coolants.

As explained by Radiant, the portable nuclear reactor offers more than 1MW (megawatt) of power that is enough in fulfilling 8 years of electricity consumption for 1,000 households. Of course, military bases are also one of the application markets, where a single nuclear reactor would provide 4-8 years of power for remote bases.

This nuclear reactor also comes with its exclusive transportation vessel that allows transportation to various locations through different methods, which satisfies the demand for power in remote areas. A remote monitoring and maintenance function is also available for the reactor that will lower the risks of damages. The nuclear reactor of Radiant is still at the prototype testing phase, and the so-called safeness claimed by the startup remains to be seen after the final experiment.

 (Cover photo source: Radiant)

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