The US Air Force has confirmed that it will be installing a nuclear micro-reactor at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), located 26 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska.
Eielson currently relies on a coal-based power plant, which can produce up to 25 MWe but typically runs at 13-15 MWe, using up to 800 tonnes of coal every day. It also keeps 90 days’ supply on-site and needs a facility to thaw the coal.
The planned microreactor would supplement this with 1-5 MWe of nuclear power. Eielson said the microreactor would be owned commercially, operated by the owner’s trained staff, and licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
“Micro-reactors are a promising technology for ensuring energy resilience and reliability, and are particularly well-suited for powering and heating remote domestic military bases like Eielson AFB,” said Mark Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety, and Infrastructure.
The micro-reactor is estimated to be operational by 2027.