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The US Department of Defense's (DOD) project to develop a mobile reactor - Project Pele - is on track for full power testing of a mobile reactor in 2023, with outdoor mobile testing at a Department of Energy (DOE) installation in 2024, DOD's Jeff Waksman told the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 33rd Regulatory Information Conference last week.

Date: Saturday, 20 March 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-Defense-Department-eyes-2022-for-microreactor-b

A Task Force on Public Investment in Nuclear Research and Development, commissioned by the American Nuclear Society (ANS), on 17 February issued an assessment of US nuclear energy research and development funding needs for the 2020s. The 46-page study, “The US Nuclear R&D Imperative,” outlines the level of federal investments for meeting nuclear energy R&D needs and enabling a commercial scale-up of US-designed advanced reactors in the 2030s. The report also looked at maximising nuclear energy for decarbonisation, economic growth through high-paying nuclear jobs, and preservation of US influence in global nuclear safety and standards.

Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsans-study-calls-for-us-to-double-spending-on-nuclear-rd-8542440

Lead assemblies of Framatome's GAIA Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) have completed their first 18-month fuel cycle at a US nuclear power plant. This is the first time a full-length EATF concept with both pellets and cladding has completed a fuel cycle in a reactor.

Date: Thursday, 04 February 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Framatome-EATF-completes-first-fuel-cycle

The US Administration has issued an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration, which it says will further revitalise the US nuclear energy sector and reinvigorate its space exploration programme. This includes directives to demonstrate the use of microreactors on military bases and also to ensure a viable US-origin supply of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU).

Date: Thursday, 14 January 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-order-promotes-SMRs-for-space-exploration-and-d

The US Administration has issued a new directive on the use of nuclear power and propulsion in space. Space Policy Directive-6 (SPD-6) establishes high-level goals, principles, roles and responsibilities, and a supporting roadmap demonstrating the nation's commitment to the safe, effective and responsible use of space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP) systems.

Date: Friday, 18 December 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-Administration-issues-Space-Policy-Directive

US-based BWX Technologies (BWXT) announced that its BWXT Nuclear Operations Group subsidiary has completed its TRIstructural-ISOtropic (TRISO) nuclear fuel line restart project and is producing fuel at its Lynchburg facility in Virginia.

Date: Friday, 13 November 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbwxt-restarts-triso-fuel-line-8359001

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 (DOE) Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) leaders last week to mark progress toward a next-generation fusion materials project.

Date: Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsprogess-for-oakridge-mpex-fusion-project-8191161

A design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars has exceeded key performance parameters and optimised the reactor for manufacturability, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced. The reactor's features include a compact core thanks to the use of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/GA-delivers-HALEU-fuelled-reactor-concept-for-Mars

The design was produced as part of a NASA-funded study Image courtesy General Atomics US-based General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has delivered a design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars.

The design was produced as part of a NASA-funded study. GA-EMS said its design exceeded the key performance parameters requested by NASA.

The reactor concept incorporates advancements in modern nuclear materials and manufacturing methods with experience from GA-EMS’s involvement on NASA Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Project Rover in the 1960s. Project Rover was one of the first programmes to demonstrate the feasibility of space-based nuclear thermal propulsion.

GA fabricated approximately six tonnes of the nuclear fuel kernels for the project. In 1965, the company was also directly involved in nuclear fuel testing and characterisation for the SNAP-10A reactor, the only US nuclear power reactor launched into space, which powered the satellite for 43 days. The fuel used for that reactor is the same fuel that has been used since the 1950s in General Atomics Triga reactors.

Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/general-atomics-submits-nuclear-reactor-concept-for-missions-to-mars-9-2-2020