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40-kW system planned to last at least 10 years in lunar environment A demonstration of fission systems on the Moon would pave the way for long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars. Courtesy Nasa. US Space agency Nasa has chosen three companies to provide an initial design concept for a fission surface power system that could be ready to launch to the Moon by the end of the decade.

The companies are Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Company; Maryland-based Lockheed Martin; and Texas-based X, a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-Energy.

The 12-month contracts are valued at $5m each and will fund the development of initial design concepts for a 40-kW class fission power system planned to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment.

Nasa said fission systems, which are relatively small and lightweight compared to other power systems, could enable continuous power regardless of location, available sunlight, and other natural environmental conditions. A demonstration of such systems on the Moon would pave the way for long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars.

Date: Tuesday, 12 July 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nasa-chooses-three-companies-to-produce-concepts-for-fission-surface-power-system-7-1-2022

The US space agency NASA has selected three design concepts for a 40KW nuclear power system designed to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment to help "lay the groundwork for powering our long-term human presence on other worlds".

Date: Thursday, 23 June 2022
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-power-on-the-Moon-NASA-selects-three-propo

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on 13 July it was leading an effort, working with the Department of Energy (DOE), to advance space nuclear technologies. The government team has selected three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system. The reactor is a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilise high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsnasa-announces-funding-for-nuclear-thermal-propulsion-reactor-8898302

Plants could be used for missions to Mars A NASA illustration of a conceptual spacecraft using nuclear thermal propulsion. Courtesy NASA. NASA has selected three teams of companies to perform concept studies of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactors while making plans to fund similar studies for nuclear surface power systems.

Each contract is worth approximately $5m and will last one year.

One contract will go to BWX Technologies, working with Lockheed Martin. A second contract will go to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, working with X-energy and Aerojet Rocketdyne. The third will go to Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies, working with its parent company, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, as well as Blue Origin, General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy, General Electric Research, Framatome and Materion.

All three studies are focused on developing a design for a reactor that would be part of a future NTP system. That reactor would heat up a propellant such as liquid hydrogen, generating thrust at far higher efficiencies than conventional propulsion systems and enabling shorter transit times for missions to Mars.

Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nasa-announces-funding-for-three-thermal-propulsion-reactors-7-4-2021

Three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system for deep space missions have been selected by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The reactor will be a critical component of a nuclear thermal engine, which would utilise high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel.

Date: Thursday, 15 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/NASA-selects-reactor-concepts-for-deep-space-explo

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) said on 12 April that it had awarded contracts for the first phase of the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (Draco) programme. The three prime contractors are General Atomics, Blue Origin, and Lockheed Martin. Darpa previously announced an award of $22 million to General Atomics to design a small nuclear reactor for space propulsion under the Draco) project.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-solicits-designs-for-nuclear-powered-spacecraft-8673015

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded contracts for the first phase of its Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) programme to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system above low Earth orbit in 2025. General Atomics will carry out reactor development work, while Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin will develop spacecraft concept designs.

Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Companies-contracted-to-develop-US-space-nuclear-p

French nuclear company Framatome said on 9 October that, together with US company Lockheed Martin it had completed the installation and site acceptance testing of a new Engineered Safety Features Actuation System (ESFAS) replacement for unit 2 of Exelon Generation’s Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant.

Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsframatome-and-lockheed-complete-new-analogue-system-for-calvert-cliffs-7451985

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has approved construction of three main buildings of the $6.5bn Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The department’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) can now begin construction on the Main Process Building (MPB), Salvage & Accountability Building (SAB), and Process Support Facilities (PSF) subprojects. The three-story MPB will house enriched uranium operations while the SAB and PSF buildings are expected to support operations in the MPB. NNSA is aiming to complete UPF by the end of 2025, subject to stable funding for the duration of the project. In January 2013, Consolidated Nuclear Security, a company consisting of Bechtel, Lockheed Martin Services, ATK Launch Systems, and SOC, was selected for designing and overseeing construction of the project. NNSA said UPF will replace an ageing plant built during the early phase of the Cold War. The UPF will be a modern, more efficient, and safer facility compared with the existing plant for carrying out highly-enriched uranium operations at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. NNSA is building the UPF project through a series of seven subprojects, two of which were executed on time and under budget. Two more were in progress before authorisation of the three main buildings. NNSA revealed that the project had reached 90% design completion last September ahead of seeking construction authorisation for the three facilities from DOE.

Date: Thursday, 12 April 2018
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-doe-approves-three-building-for-uranium-processing-facility-6114023

A year after signing an agreement to prototype, manufacture and qualify nuclear power plant reactor protection systems for China's Generation III reactors, Lockheed Martin and SNPTC of China have opened a cooperative development facility in East Fort Worth, Texas that will house project leaders and engineers from China along with their Lockheed Martin counterparts.

Date: Tuesday, 01 July 2014
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newslockheed-martin-and-snpac-open-joint-project-office-4307083