Zeno Power will repurpose legacy radioisotope source from ORNL

January 31, 2024, 12:03PMNuclear News

Zeno Power announced on January 26 that it will get the strontium-90 that it needs to fuel full-scale radioisotope power systems (RPSs) for national security and space exploration missions from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM). Under a public-private partnership, a large legacy RPS known as the BUP-500 that had languished, unused, in storage at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been transported to an unnamed commercial radiological facility in Pennsylvania—Zeno Power’s subcontractor—where the Sr-90 it contains will be repurposed as heat sources for Zeno Power devices.

NASA partners with companies for moon and exploration technology

July 27, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News
Concept art showing Project Harmonia’s RSG for lunar surface missions. (Image: Zeno Power)

NASA has selected 11 companies, including Zeno Power, to develop technologies that could support long-term exploration on the moon and in space. The technologies range from lunar surface power systems to tools for in-space 3D printing, which will expand industry capabilities for a sustained human presence on the moon through the Artemis program, as well as other NASA, government, and commercial missions.

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.

Student winners announced in NASA’s RPS contest

May 5, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The three winners of NASA’s Power to Explore Student Writing Challenge, are, left to right, Luca Pollack, Rainelle Yasa, and Audrielle Paige Esma. (Image: NASA/Kristin Jansen and Gayle Dibiasio)

Three winners have been announced in NASA’s Power to Explore Student Writing Challenge, in which U.S. students in kindergarten through 12th grade could participate by writing about imaginary space missions using radioisotope power systems (RPSs). Out of almost 1,600 submitted entries, 45 semifinalists, and nine finalists, Luca Pollack of Carlsbad, Calif. (in the K–4th grade category), Rainelle Yasa of Los Angeles, Calif. (in the grades 5–8 category), and Audrielle Paige Esma of Wildwood, Fl. (in the grades 9–12 category) snagged the top prize in their age groups. The April 25 announcement by NASA includes links to the winning essays.