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With nuclear technology set to underpin new developments in space travel, NASA has awarded Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation a contract to manufacture and test fuel and develop the design of a nuclear thermal propulsion engine for near-term missions. Separately, Space Nuclear Power Corporation has partnered with Lockheed Martin Corporation and BWX Technologies for the US Space Force/Air Force's JETSON nuclear electric propulsion demonstration project, while Framatome has announced the creation of a new brand, Framatome Space.

Date: Saturday, 21 October 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-companies-sign-up-for-space-technology-mis

US-based BWX Technologies (BWXT) has been contracted to develop the reactor and fuel for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO), which will use nuclear thermal propulsion. As part of a team led by Lockheed Martin, BWXT Advanced Technologies is to complete final design of the nuclear reactor, manufacture the reactor’s hardware and fuel, assemble the components and deliver the fuelled reactor as a complete subsystem.

Date: Wednesday, 16 August 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbwxt-reactor-and-fuel-selected-for-darpa-space-project-11074621

The USA's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has finalised an agreement with Lockheed Martin to begin work on the fabrication and design of an experimental nuclear thermal rocket and its engine. BWX Technologies, one of Lockheed Martin's partners in the effort, will develop the nuclear reactor and fabricate the HALEU fuel.

Date: Thursday, 27 July 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/BWXT-to-begin-work-on-DRACO-engine-and-fuel

A coated particle fuel for nuclear thermal propulsion applications, fabricated by TRISO-X LLC, has undergone testing in extreme conditions representing those experienced in space.

Date: Thursday, 16 March 2023
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Space-propulsion-fuel-particle-in-TRISO-testing-fi

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

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 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

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