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DoD Research & Engineering

Background

In 2016 the Defense Science Board (DSB) identified energy as a critical enabler of future military operations. The study noted that battlefield energy usage will likely increase significantly over the next few decades with energy needs of current and future military capabilities and operations likely outpacing improvements to energy efficiency and management. The DSB found that intermittent character of many alternative energy sources do not appear able to keep pace with the growth of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) energy needs, concluding that, “the U.S. military could become the beneficiaries of reliable, abundant, and continuous energy through the deployment of nuclear energy power systems.” SCO invites public comment on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) during the March 2, 2020 to April 30, 2020 comment period.

Consequently, the DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) launched Project Pele. The project’s objective is to design, build, and demonstrate a prototype mobile nuclear reactor within five years, following the DSB study recommendations. This effort will leverage state-of-the-art technologies and recent advances in nuclear engineering to deliver an inherently safe nuclear reactor. The reactor will be designed to provide reliable and resilient power, while minimizing risk of nuclear proliferation,   environmental damage, or harm to nearby personnel or populations.

Project Pele is led by SCO in close collaboration with the Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as with industry partners.

Environmental Impact Statement

SCO is developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to ensure all environmental and health factors are considered before making a final determination on whether to build a mobile nuclear reactor, and where to perform this work. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare the EIS for Project Pele was published on the Federal Register on March 2, 2020.

Please use the email link below to request to be added to the EIS Distribution list. You will receive copies of the EIS when it is published.

News & Contact Information

Public comments will now be accepted through April 30, 2020

Media Inquiries

DoD OSD Public Affairs

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