The contractor that runs Idaho National Laboratory is working with NASA to find someone who can build a nuclear power system that can be operated on the moon.
Battelle Energy Alliance has released a draft request for proposals looking for feedback from leaders in the nuclear and space industries by Jan. 22, 2021. It can be viewed online at nstdirectorate.com/nasa-fsp. Battelle plans to release the final request for proposals in February.
The draft, which is being sponsored by NASA in collaboration with INL and the U.S. Department of Energy, “provides the first phase of technical requirements and work products for (a fission surface power) system that can be built, tested, and deployed on the moon and potentially used for subsequent missions,” Battelle said in a news release.
“Idaho National Laboratory is the nation’s leader in nuclear innovation,” said Sebastian Corbisiero, senior technical adviser leading the project for INL’s nuclear science and technology directorate. “By partnering with the private sector to develop a first-of-kind lunar nuclear reactor, the government is advancing the United States’ leadership in both space exploration and advanced nuclear technology.”