Radiant, a Californian company, has received funding to develop a compact, portable, "low-cost" one-megawatt nuclear micro-reactor that would fit into a shipping container, provide energy for about 1,000 houses, and use helium thermal fluid instead of water.
Radiant was founded by former SpaceX engineers who decided that energy sources for a Mars colony would have more impact closer to home. The company has managed to attract $1.2 million from investors to continue developing compact reactors.
These reactors are specifically designed to be portable, quickly deployable and efficient as much as possible. Despite the claimed versatility and safety of the solution, distant communities and disaster areas are considered top priorities at this stage.
The military is another key market; a few of these generators could power an entire military base in a remote area for four to eight years before their "particle-enhanced fuel" is exhausted, eliminating not only the harmful emissions of current diesel generators, but also the need for constant fuel deliveries.
Radiant claims that its fuel "does not meltdown and withstands higher temperatures than traditional nuclear fuel. Using helium as a thermal fluid "significantly reduces the risks of corrosion, boiling and contamination," and the company says it has received preliminary patents on ideas it has developed for refueling reactors and efficiently removing heat from the reactor core.
Would you buy one?
Source: radiantnuclear, newatlas