The Department of Energy has awarded the eVinci Microreactor by Westinghouse a prestigious Front-End Engineering and Experiment Design (FEEED) contract, which will help to deploy the company's nuclear test reactor at Idaho National Lab (INL).
The nuclear microreactor marks a significant energy breakthrough, providing safe, carbon-free energy that is easily scalable and highly portable. It can be used to provide heating and electricity to everything from data centers and defense facilities to mining operations, remote communities and eventually the surface of the moon.
What sets it apart from other solutions is its low number of moving parts, which enables it to act like a battery while providing up to 5 megawatts of electricity around the clock for more than eight years without the need to refuel. It does not need water for operation or cooling, and spent fuel can be sent to the manufacturer for long-term storage. It is also capable of providing high-temperature heat for a range of industrial applications, such as the production of alternative fuels like hydrogen fuel.
Another benefit of this novel microreactor is that it is fully factory assembled and can be sent to the site where it is to be used in a shipping container via truck, barge or rail. It is installed above the ground and requires minimal onsite personnel to operate, secure and maintain.
The microreactor is driven by Westinghouse's advanced heat pipe technology, which boasts superior reliability and eliminates a host of risks, from those related to coolant loss and high system pressures to the vibration and flow-induced corrosion that forced flow systems are vulnerable to.