Zeno Power wins contract to build a radioisotope-powered satellite for the USAF

May 23, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News
Rendering of a radioisotope-powered satellite. (Image: Zeno Power Systems)

Zeno Power Systems was awarded a $30 million contract to build a radioisotope-powered satellite for the U.S. Air Force by 2025. According to a SpaceNews article announcing the development and quoting company cofounder and chief executive officer Tyler Bernstein, the four-year contract is a “strategic funding increase” (STRATFI) agreement that provides $15 million in government funds, matched by $15 million from private investors.

Air Force pilot program to enlist microreactor for 20-year Alaskan deployment

October 5, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear News
Aircraft line the runway at Eielson AFB in December 2020. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Keith Holcomb)

The Department of the Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency–Energy have released a request for proposals (RFP) for the construction and operation of a microreactor in central Alaska. The Department of Defense wants a 20-year supply of electricity and steam from a 1–5-MW microreactor, but the Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) Microreactor Pilot Program will go beyond a simple power purchase agreement and put the reactor through its paces with tests, at least annually, of the reactor’s walk-away safety and black-start capabilities. The final RFP is available at sam.gov.

Microreactor planned for U.S. Air Force base in Alaska

October 25, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News
An F-35A Lightning II takes off from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on July 1, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong)

The Department of the Air Force has selected Eielson Air Force Base as the site of a stationary microreactor that “will provide the installation with a clean, reliable, and resilient nuclear energy supply technology for critical national security infrastructure,” the department announced on October 15.