Tina Casey, writing for TPM’s Idea Lab blog:
James Werner, who manages reactor technologies for the Space Nuclear Systems division at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, described the new system Sunday at the 242nd Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver.
Describing the new technology at the conference, Werner said: “People would never recognize the fission power system as a nuclear power reactor. The reactor itself may be about 1-1/2 feet wide by 2-1/2 feet high, about the size of a carry-on suitcase. There are no cooling towers.”
The system would provide energy for outposts or colonies on land where solar power is impractical. Unlike photovoltaic cells, a fission system could operate on the dark side of moons or the polar areas of planets, in caves or shaded craters, and in stormy and dusty conditions such as those on Mars.