Ex-SpaceX engineers are working on portable nuclear reactors that can power over 1,000 homes

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Ex-SpaceX engineers are working on portable nuclear reactors that can power over 1,000 homes
The startup ‘Radiant’ was founded by ex-SpaceX engineers who recently secured funding of $1.2 million to develop portable nuclear reactors.Radiant
  • Radiant is working on portable nuclear reactors that can help provide electricity in remote communities, disaster areas and bases.
  • These are 1MW portable nuclear reactors that can power over 1,000 homes per unit.
  • Founded by ex-SpaceX engineers, Radiant recently secured funding of $1.2 million for this project.
This California-based startup has raised funding to develop a portable nuclear reactor that can fit in a shipping container. It’s a 1 MegaWatt nuclear reactor and it can be used to power over 1,000 homes, according to a report by New Atlas. These nuclear reactors are aimed at powering houses in remote communities, disaster areas and bases.

The startup ‘Radiant’ was founded by ex-SpaceX engineers who recently secured funding of $1.2 million to develop these portable nuclear reactors. Radiant’s nuclear reactors can deliver over 1 MegaWatt of electricity and they can operate for up to eight years. This makes it possible for one reactor to power over 1,000 homes.

What’s different with these nuclear reactors

The nuclear reactors developed by Radiant use helium instead of water for cooling. This method, according to the company “greatly reduces corrosion, boiling and contamination risks.” The particle fuel used in these reactors does not melt according to Radiant and is also said to be capable of handling higher temperatures than traditional nuclear fuels. The company is also working around ways to refuel the reactors and also efficiently transport heat out of the reactor core.
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How will it help

The use of nuclear reactors to generate electricity can help reduce emissions produced by diesel generators. It would also decrease the need of getting trucks to transport fuel for these generators. While the need for trucks would still be there for transporting the nuclear reactors but the dependence is expected to be much lesser. Portability in itself is a big factor here as it would help electricity reach easily in remote areas.

Small nuclear reactors

Small nuclear reactors are being developed by several countries including NASA who is making one the size of a garbage can. According to the World Nuclear Association, small nuclear reactors are convenient as they can be efficiently built in a controlled factory. Their small size and safety features also make it possible for them to be lent to countries with smaller grids. It can also help with easier financing as compared to larger nuclear plants.
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But Radiant is one of the few to work on portable nuclear reactors, and it would be joining Copenhagen-based startup Seaborg Technologies that will deploy them globally on floating barges.

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