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Battelle Energy Alliance, NASA select industry partners to design nuclear power system for lunar applications

June 21, 2022

By INL Media Relations

Battelle Energy Alliance, contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and NASA have selected proposals to design a fission surface power system for lunar power applications. The FSP project is sponsored by NASA in collaboration with the Department of the Energy and INL to demonstrate a 40 kilowatt-electric nuclear reactor on the moon by the end of the decade.  

The contracts, to be awarded through INL, are each valued at approximately $5 million and target developing initial designs. This early design effort will provide key information to inform subsequent project activities. 

INL led the evaluation and will award 12-month contracts to the following companies for the Phase 1 design effort: 

  • Lockheed Martin – the company will partner with BWXT and Creare 
  • Westinghouse – the company will partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne 
  • IX, a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-Energy – the company will partner with Maxar and Boeing. 

“The Fission Surface Power project is a very achievable first step toward the United States establishing nuclear power on the moon, and I look forward to seeing what each of these teams will accomplish,” INL Director John Wagner said. “This project will also advance technologies that are directly relevant to nuclear electric propulsion systems for space applications.”  

For more information, please visit the fission surface power project website. 

About Idaho National Laboratory

Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, celebrating 75 years of scientific innovations in 2024. The laboratory performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. 

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Posted June 21, 2022

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