Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory want to factory mass produce microreactors to enable the electric transportation future.
Microreactors will use nuclear fuel and passive safety features. They will recharge cross-country semitrucks at thousands of rest stops across the country. They will be about the size of two home water heaters.
When the rest stop is empty, the reactor produces power in the form of heat, which is transferred and stored in a separate tank of inert heat-transfer fluid. When trucks crowd the rest stop, the system taps that heated fluid to produce steam, generate electricity and recharge batteries.