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An artist’s rendition of KiloPower reactors powering a human habitat on Mars. Courtesy SpaceNukes/NASA/Los Alamos. The US government’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has signed an agreement to licence its Kilopower space reactor technology to Space Nuclear Power Corporation (SpaceNukes), a move it says will speed up a nuclear reactor technology that could be used to fuel deep-space exploration and possibly power human habitats on the Moon or Mars.

The Kilopower technology was developed at the laboratory in partnership with NASA and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Patrick McClure, who served as project lead for Kilopower at Los Alamos and is now a partner in SpaceNukes, said that by creating a new company, Kilopower’s founders are hoping to be able to reach potential new sponsors “who will want to take this technology to the next level and put it into space”.

Kilopower is a small, lightweight fission power system capable of providing various ranges of power depending on the need. For example, SpaceNukes offers low-kilowatt reactors to power deep space missions, middle-range reactors in the tens of kilowatts to power a lunar or martian habitat, and much larger reactors in the hundreds of kilowatts that could make enough propellant for a rocket to return to Earth after a stay on Mars.

Date: Saturday, 07 November 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/new-us-company-to-develop-los-alamos-kilopower-reactor-11-5-2020

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has agreed to license Kilopower space reactor technology to New Mexico company Space Nuclear Power Corporation (SpaceNukes), which aims to commercialise the technology for use in space in the next few years.

Date: Saturday, 07 November 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Los-Alamos-spin-off-to-commercialise-space-reactor

US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) said on 24 August that Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) had initiated contract negotiations with a team led by Bechtel National Inc (BNI) to support the design and build phase of the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). The BNI team also includes TerraPower and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

Date: Tuesday, 01 September 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbechtel-selected-for-contract-talks-on-us-test-reactor-8109828

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The rover, which will be powered by a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) developed at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL), will land on Mars to begin exploration in February 2021.

Date: Friday, 31 July 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-powered-rover-sets-off-for-Mars

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy has delivered its latest nuclear power system to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida - the site of NASA’s planned Mars 2020 launch later this summer.

Date: Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-doe-delivers-power-system-for-nasa-mars-launch-7973497

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has delivered the nuclear power system for the Perseverance rover for NASA's Mars 2020 mission which is due to launch next month. The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) was fuelled, built and tested by DOE's national laboratories.

Date: Saturday, 13 June 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-power-system-delivered-for-Mars-rover-laun

The US Department of Energy (DOE), last week, announced the winners of $32 million in funding for 15 nuclear fusion research projects.

Date: Wednesday, 15 April 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsus-doe-announces-funding-for-lower-cost-fusion-concepts-7872066

Five US National Laboratories will play a key role in a consortium tasked with harnessing the power of supercomputers to combat COVID-19, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a video address yesterday. President Donald Trump announced the launch of the consortium on 23 March. The five are Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Sandia.

Date: Friday, 27 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-National-Laboratories-supercomputers-to-help-CO

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced USD49.3 million in funding for nuclear energy research, facility access, crosscutting technology development, and infrastructure for 58 advanced nuclear technology projects in 25 states.

Date: Friday, 28 June 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-DOE-announces-funding-for-nuclear-energy-R-D

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on 2 May that it had completed a full power test of its Kilopower reactor, which exceeded government expectations. 

Date: Tuesday, 08 May 2018
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsnasa-announces-successful-test-of-its-kilopower-reactor-6141223