WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Monday issued three contracts to start design work on mobile, small nuclear reactors, as part of a two-step plan towards achieving nuclear power for American forces at home and abroad.

The department awarded contracts to BWX Technologies, Inc. of Virginia, for $13.5 million; Westinghouse Government Services of Washington, D.C. for $11.9 million; and X-energy, LLC of Maryland, for $14.3 million, to begin a two-year engineering design competition for a small nuclear microreactor designed to potentially be forward deployed with forces outside the continental United States.

The combined $39.7 million in contracts are from “Project Pele,” a project run through the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), located within the department’s research and engineering side. The prototype is looking at a 1-5 megawatt (MWe) power range. The Department of Energy has been supporting the project at its Idaho National Laboratory.

Pele “involves the development of a safe, mobile and advanced nuclear microreactor to support a variety of Department of Defense missions such as generating power for remote operating bases,” said Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a department spokesman. “After a two-year design-maturation period, one of the companies funded to begin design work may be selected to build and demonstrate a prototype.”

“The Pele Program’s uniqueness lies in the reactor’s mobility and safety,” said Jeff Waksman, Project Pele program manager, in a department statement. “We will leverage our industry partners to develop a system that can be safely and rapidly moved by road, rail, sea or air and for quick set up and shut down, with a design which is inherently safe.” – article

Mother Earth News had a great many articles back in the 1970s on how to make use of solar and wind energy on a private basis, and if possible, sell the overage to the local power companies. That made a lot of sense, including their notions about battery storage for night-time use, long before the current crop of rechargeable batteries was available.

Nowhere was there the remotest suggestion that this should become a commercial endeavor and product, with the direst of consequences for the consumer population at large. Nuclear power was never considered a bad idea as it provided genuinely cheap energy for both industry and household use.

But all that was before the ecohippies and greenbeaners and greedy corporate squabs got hold of the notion that they could sell solar/wind as being better for the environment on a large scale…. an idea which has been repeatedly proven false, and is now being dissed and repudiated by well-known Greenbeaners such as Michael Moore and Michale Shellenberger, as well as other semi-prominent persons whose eyes have finally opened wide. They can see that they were lied to and have said so publicly, which annoys the money-grubbing clodpoles that think they can tell everyone what to do and how to live.

Australia’s own power generating systems are not doing well, but the Aussie government is proposing to provide electric power to Singapore via an undersea cable. This is not a joke:  https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/australia-backs-plan-worlds-biggest-solar-farm-pow/#:~:text

The Australian government has assigned major project status to a proposed A$22bn plan to build the world’s biggest solar farm in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) and send the electricity through a 3,700-km-long undersea cable to Singapore where, promoters say, it will meet 20% of Singapore’s demand for power.

The 12,000-hectare solar farm, to be located near the town of Elliott in NT’s Barkley Region, will be visible from space, says Sun Cable, the start-up company formed to develop the scheme.

Electricity will be stored in a 30GWh battery – the world’s biggest, according to Sun Cable – allowing transmission at night.

From Elliott, the electricity will be sent by cable 750km to the coast at Darwin to begin its submarine journey to Singapore.

Sun Cable, which secured its first round of investor funding in November, believes the operation, called Australian-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL), can be up and running in 2027.

A final investment decision has yet to be made, and the scheme  still needs various approvals. – article

Remember that scene from Ice Age with the dodos chasing a watermelon off a cliff?  Heh.  It seems that the real dodos may not be extinct just yet.

I don’t know what this is all going to come to, but it’s best to be as informed as possible and know the facts well enough to discuss them in a rational way, even with an ecohippie, should you run into one by mistake.

Here’s one more thing to think about: what is the count/volume of lithium batteries that have been disposed of in landfills? I don’t know the answer to that, but as careless as people are, it’s probably a high volume, because they’re just flashlight or computer or phone batteries, right?  Right, and lithium batteries have a bad habit of self-igniting, as you may recall from the Tesla car fires. Yes, I know: that’s been “fixed”, but it should never have happened. So if lithium flashlight batteries are disposed of in landfills, and they self-ignite, are the tossers of those batteries even vaguely aware that landfills or garbage dumps generate enormous quantities of methane, a flammable gas?  Wouldn’t it be ironic if tossed out lithium batteries set one on fire that could not be put out?