The U.S. Air Force recently announced that it has picked Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska as the base to host a new small nuclear reactor as part of a pilot program. The U.S. military, as a whole, together with the Department of Energy has been increasingly looking into micro-reactor designs as possible ways to meet ever-growing electricity demands, including for units on the battlefield, as well as to help cut costs and improve general operational efficiency by reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The Department of the Air Force announced the selection of Eielson as the host facility for this pilot reactor on Oct. 18, 2021. The base is situated deep within the interior of Alaska near the city of Fairbanks and is around 110 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It is home to the active-duty 354th Fighter Wing, which flies F-35A Joint Strike Fighters and F-16 Viper aggressor jets, as well as the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing with its KC-135 tankers, among other units.
“Energy is a critical asset to ensure mission continuity at our installations,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety, and Infrastructure Mark Correll said in a statement. “Micro-reactors 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.” (Read more from “This Alaskan Air Base Will Host an Experimental Mini Nuclear Reactor” HERE)