Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability


A small, safe, reliable, powerful, portable, automated, and self-sustaining nuclear power plant for remote towns, military bases, and other critical, but isolated, infrastructure.
February 1, 2019
A rough illustration of a nuclear plant cooling tower next to a palm tree on a tiny island.

The Megapower nuclear reactor system can operate on distant corners of the earth for a decade or more without refueling.

In an unusual twist, instead of adapting an existing technology for use in space, the space technology is being adapted for use on Earth.

Working in partnership with NASA, Los Alamos scientists recently unveiled Kilopower: a small, fully automated nuclear power plant designed to operate continuously for decades on deep-space craft, on the moon, or on Mars—providing abundant and secure power for human exploration or colonization. But in an unusual twist, instead of just adapting an existing technology for use in space, the scientists went on to scale up the space technology for use on Earth. Because Kilopower was already designed to work safely and reliably in an exceedingly hostile and remote environment, it was a natural model for safe, reliable, and especially portable power for sensitive or remote locales here at home.


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