The Pentagon issued three new contracts that reportedly signal the start of work on small, mobile nuclear reactors, according to a report from Defense News on Monday. This is reportedly part of a two-step plan to achieve nuclear power for US forces at home and overseas.
BWX Technologies, Inc. of Virginia (a company that supplies nuclear components and fuel to the US government), Westinghouse Government Services of Washington, D.C. and Westinghouse Government Services of Washington, D.C., were awarded a combined almost $40 million in contracts to begin a two-year design competition for a small nuclear microreactor, according to Defense News.
The contracts are from "Project Pele," which is run through the Strategic Capabilities Office, on the Pentagon's research and engineering side.
"[Pele] involves the development of a safe, mobile and advanced nuclear microreactor to support a variety of Department of Defense missions such as generating power for remote operating bases," Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a department spokesman, told Defense News. "After a two-year design-maturation period, one of the companies funded to begin design work may be selected to build and demonstrate a prototype."
CNET reached out to the Department of Defense, and we'll update when we hear back.