EEMI Presents Research Results on Micronuclear Energy Potential

Prof Cascio presents the results of the EEMI study
Prof Cascio presents the results of the EEMI study
June 13, 2019

On January 29, 2019, the final report of a research study conducted by the SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute was released at a Capitol Hill event attended by 165 people, including three members of Congress. EEMI Research Professor Alex Beehler was the Principal Investigator of the study.  Research Professor Joe Cascio (EEMI co-Director and co-PI) presented a summary of the study, which assessed the feasibility of using microreactors (very small nuclear reactors providing power in the range of 2-10 MWe) by US military forces.  

The EEMI report assesses the prospects for the development of a prototype microreactor potential deployment at a domestic US Army installation by 2023 and outlines an expeditious, least risky strategy for such development. It sets forth an approach that matches the licensing, construction and operating needs of the Army, emphasizing coordination by interested parties to leverage technical expertise and resources.

Discussion Panel Members
Prof Cascio presents the results of the EEMI study

The bulk of the report focuses on the key challenges that need to be addressed and overcome for the successful development of the prototype and the subsequent deployment of similar models for the energy needs of both fixed military bases and tactical military operations.

The results were developed after discussions with several dozen public and private experts who possess extensive knowledge of the current state of play regarding licensing, technology development, fuel acquisition, siting, transportability, power sales, public relations and other matters relevant to successful deployment of a microreactor on an Army installation.

Congressman Richard Hudson of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said that lawmakers are seeking legislation to “help ensure regulatory and fuels infrastructure that’s needed for advanced reactors” and that this is one area “I truly believe” can secure bipartisan support in divided government.

 

Prof Joe Cascio and Caroline Cochran, co-Founder and CEO, Oklo Nuclear Energy
Prof Joe Cascio and Caroline Cochran, co-Founder and CEO, Oklo Nuclear Energy

Congressman Joe Wilson said of the EEMI study results that microreactors have great promise in remote places, from Alaska to Guam, that presently are using environmentally damaging, unreliable and expensive diesel generators.

The EEMI study was sponsored by the Clearpath Foundation, an NGO focused on clean energy solutions.  Professor Jonathan Deason (co-PI) and EMSE doctoral student Ryan Gabel (GRA) also participated in the January 29 event on the Hill.

A copy of the report can be seen [link to report].