President Trump signs order to develop ‘mini-nuclear reactors’ for US space, military programs

Washington: – The United States has completed the preparations to develop a mini nuclear reactor for research in space and the defence department. US President Donald Trump has issued an ordinance in this respect and has said that atomic energy and its use is a matter concerning security of the United States. Before this, in August 2019, President Trump had ordered to start movements for a Space Nuclear System. After that, only last month, NASA was given the clearance to build a nuclear reactor on the moon.   

In the ordinance, President Trump had said, ‘The new ordinance’s objective is to provide an impetus to the atomic energy sector in the United States. While doing this, the objective to revive the space research program and making various energy options available for national security has also been set. Using nuclear energy generated by these mini nuclear reactors for the defence and space sector will also provide an impetus to the efforts to maintain US domination in the technology sector.’  

The US Defence Department is developing mini nuclear reactors under two different projects. In March, last year, the internal security department assigned contracts to three companies to create a mobile nuclear reactor prototype. In the other project, a target has been set to test a mini nuclear reactor, in collaboration with the energy department, by the year 2023. It is believed that Westinghouse, the leading US company in atomic energy, has developed a microreactor by the name ‘eVinci’ and it is in the testing phase.  

Only last month, President Trump announced the important policy SPD-6 for the space sector. Under this policy, clearance has been given to implement Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion (SNPP). Accordingly, NASA will be working on the space mission based on a Space Nuclear System. While there is a shortage of alternative energy sources, NASA plans to use nuclear energy to launch the spacecraft in the space missions. China and Russia have fired salvos of criticism at the US plan, and an accusation has been levelled that the goal is to turn the moon into the nuclear power generation hub. 

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