Nuclear Power Projection

In October 2022 Cameco, a Canadian firm which is one of the largest uranium extractors on Earth, announced a joint purchase of US electrical firm Westinghouse Nuclear. Cameco now owns 49% of the firm which “services about half the nuclear power generation sector and is the original equipment manufacturer to more than half the global nuclear reactor fleet.” This vertically-integrated business is now building nuclear microreactors in Canada:

From U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a service agreement with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to bring its eVinci microreactor closer to commercialisation.”

From Nuclear Engineering International.

What is an eVinci microreactor? It is a nuclear battery which can be deployed anywhere as an independent energy source:

“Westinghouse looks to off-grid applications like remote communities and mine sites as the entry market for eVinci. But the microreactor could also serve industrial sites or data centers. In remote locations, it could replace diesel as a power generating fuel, which is expensive to transport often hundreds of miles.”

From Power Engineering.

But what is eVinci’s main application?

“the eVinci micro reactor designed for government usage allows for mobile operations utilizing standard military transportation vehicles and containers. The nature of the design will allow the reactor to be rapidly transported to sites as needed to create an abundant and resilient power supply to support advanced defense systems.”

From Westinghouse Nuclear.

The eVinci will be deployed by militaries to power weapons systems.

eVinci is not the first or only microreactor to be designed with this function in mind. Military Times reported in April 2022 that the Pentagon had approved construction of microreactors under “Project Pele” despite the warnings of nuclear scientists:

Members of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists also told Army Times in 2019 that they had major concerns that the Army’s own reporting on the design concept showed such a microreactor would “not be expected to survive a direct kinetic attack.”

From Forbes, “U.S. Air Force Base To Be First To Deploy New Nuclear ‘Microreactor’ – Soon Every Town Could Have One” 1 November 2021.

Gotta love the eco-friendly battlefields of tomorrow!

[ Featured image from CBC, “Sask. uranium company Cameco to restart McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill this year” 9 February 2022 ]