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Eielson Air Force Base chosen as site for US Air Force’s first nuclear microreactor pilot project

An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 355th Fighter Squadron (FS) takes off from Eielson Air...
An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 355th Fighter Squadron (FS) takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, July 1, 2021. Also known as the ‘Fighting Falcons,’ the 355th FS is one of Eielson’s two combat-coded F-35A squadrons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong)(Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong | U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 1:13 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Eielson Air Force Base was selected by the U.S. Air Force to receive its first nuclear microreactor.

The project began with a National Defense Authorization Act requirement to identify suitable locations for the development and operation of a micro-reactor by the year 2027.

“Energy is a critical asset to ensure mission continuity at our installations,” said Mark Correll, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure in a news release announcing the project. “(Microreactors) 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.”

The microreactor will be commercially owned and licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory commission and is capable of producing “clean, reliable, and resilient nuclear energy supply technology for critical national security infrastructure.”

The pilot project will be coordinated by Correll with the Air Force Office of Energy Assurance, the office of the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Resilience, the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The groups will also be working together to oversee the safety of the project.

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