Rolls-Royce has received further funding from the UK Space Agency to develop a miniature nuclear reactor that could serve as a long-term power source for lunar bases. The company aims to have a demonstration model of a modular microreactor ready for delivery to the moon by 2029.

The UK Space Agency’s decision to continue financing Rolls-Royce’s project follows a previous study funded with £249,000 ($303,495) in 2022. In a joint press release, Rolls-Royce and the UK Space Agency stated that the microreactor program would help develop the necessary technology for humans to live and work on the moon.

The ongoing research will focus on three critical aspects of the microreactor: generating heat, transferring that heat, and converting it into usable energy. To assist with the project, Rolls-Royce has partnered with the University of Oxford, Bangor University, the University of Brighton, the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), and Nuclear AMRC.

Nuclear power offers increased versatility for space missions and reduces reliance on solar energy. The development of this innovative technology by Rolls-Royce could be crucial for supporting a continuous human presence on the moon.

Rolls-Royce has established Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd to develop an affordable power plant generating electricity using small modular reactors (SMR), an innovative approach to meeting future energy needs. The company’s SMR technology aims to provide low-cost, scalable, net-zero energy for various applications, such as grid and industrial electricity production, hydrogen

manufacturing, and synthetic fuel production.

Key elements of Rolls-Royce’s SMR value proposition include:

Low cost: Rolls-Royce SMR is designed as a low-cost clean energy solution, using proven and commercially available technology to deliver a fully integrated, factory-built nuclear power plant. The approach focuses on modularization and maximizing work conducted in factory conditions to revolutionize nuclear energy delivery.

Deliverability: Rolls-Royce SMR plans to utilize over 80% of the UK supply chain by value, concentrating on standardized, commercially available, and ready-to-use components.

Global and scalable: Rolls-Royce SMR is designed to meet global demand for clean energy, with the factory-built model being fully scalable. As demand increases, more factories will be established using the same design and management systems. The SMR program is expected to generate 40,000 regional jobs in the UK by 2050 and contribute £52 billion in economic benefits. Memorandums of understanding are in place with Estonia, Turkey, and the Czech Republic.

Source GOV.UK

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Español