Innovation in Nuclear Energy Technologies: Implications for US National Defense

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has the potential to play a significant role bringing advanced reactor technology to demonstration and, ultimately, commercialization. Possible US military applications of advanced reactors—especially micro nuclear reactors (MNRs)—include deployment to remote bases that are challenging to supply with fuel; power systems for directed-energy weapons; and nuclear energy systems for space flight and off-world bases. This issue brief explores the challenges and opportunities inherent in DOD’s procurement of MNRs.