Saturday, February 24, 2024

Radiant is developing low-cost, portable nuclear microreactors

A team of former SpaceX engineers is developing the first portable, zero-emissions power source that works anywhere. It can provide electricity and heat to remote communities, disaster areas, and bases. This portable reactor will also allow the quick installation of new units in populated areas, bringing countless benefits to the population.

Last year, the team secured $1.2 million in funding from angel investors for their startup Radiant. The investment was made to contribute to the development of its low-cost, portable nuclear microreactors that provide an alternative to fossil fuels for both military and commercial applications.

The technology brings a whole new dimension when it comes to portability for nuclear reactors. This microreactor, which is still in the development phase of its prototype, delivers over 1 MegaWatt of electricity and can operate for up to 8 years, providing enough power to support over 1,000 homes per unit. Several microreactors could be used together to power an entire town or military base.

This microreactor will provide clean energy alternative to fossil fuels for military and commercial applications.
This microreactor will provide clean energy alternative to fossil fuels for military and commercial applications. Credit: Radiant

Radiant’s nuclear microreactor is designed to fit in a shipping container and can be easily transported by air, ship, and road, which means it will bring affordable energy to communities without easy access to renewable energy. In turn, this will allow these communities to have a reduction in their dependence on fossil fuels, bringing more benefits to nature and the population itself.

Its design also leverages an advanced particle fuel that does not meltdown and withstands higher temperatures when compared to traditional nuclear fuels. This will eliminate not just the emissions of the current diesel generators but also the need to constantly bring in trucks full of fuel for this purpose. Besides, the use of helium coolants greatly reduces corrosion, boiling, and contamination risks associated with more traditional water coolants.

The company says it has received provisional patents for ideas it’s developed around refueling the rectors and efficiently transporting heat out of the reactor core.

Many companies are currently working on compact nuclear reactors and floating nuclear power stations, such as those produced by Danish firm Seaborg Technologies.