Last Energy to Further Develop Nuclear Power Systems with NATO

Image: Last Energy

When conflict breaks out, secure and reliable access to power becomes a military priority—and small nuclear reactors, which offer independence from the grid and abundant energy from a small amount of fuel, fit right into those power needs. 

The ​​North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is getting on board with that idea. Energy infrastructure is a key vulnerability for its member states, and it’s seeking ways to advance technology that could ensure that those states’ militaries maintain access to as much energy as they need, regardless of whether the grid is up and running.

This morning, Last Energy, a US company developing a scaled-down, manufacturable, shippable nuclear reactor, announced that it’s partnering with the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence to research how micro-nuclear tech could fit the alliance’s needs.

“No other resource is capable of providing the kind of 24/7 energy security that’s mission critical on military bases, but we will only realize that potential if we miniaturize, modularize, and productize nuclear development,” Last Energy CEO Bret Kugelmass said in a release.

How it all works: Under the partnership, the NATO energy security center will tap Last Energy for its micro-nuclear expertise in a handful of ways:

  • The groups will jointly research applications for micro-nuclear projects at NATO installations.
  • Last Energy will advise on the Centre’s nuclear energy work and participate in its energy workshops.
  • Other projects are on the table, including the possibility of deploying a micro-reactor at a NATO base one day.

The groups haven’t whittled down what joint research projects they’ll pursue, but Last Energy is working with the NATO Centre to figure out the details.

To be clear, the partnership doesn’t provide a direct path for Last Energy to supply power on NATO bases (and it certainly isn’t an agreement to provide a power plant), but it does open the door to future deals. Outside of this agreement, Last Energy has signed agreements to deliver 65+ units of its 20 MWe micro-reactor design across Europe.

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