BWXT Selected as Nuclear Fuel for Air Force Research Laboratory’s JETSON Program

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 11/8/2023, Location: North America

BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) today announced that it has been selected as the nuclear fuel and components manufacturer for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Joint Emergent Technology Supplying On-Orbit Nuclear (JETSON) high power mission application program, which will mature high-power nuclear electric power and propulsion technologies and spacecraft design.

Working as part of a team led by Lockheed Martin and including Space Nuclear Power Corporation (SpaceNukes), BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC (BWXT) will lead manufacturing and testing activities for nuclear fuels and components and support design and system integration under the program.

The JETSON team will address the growing need for advanced spacecraft mobility, space situational awareness and power generation that surpasses traditional spacecraft capabilities. JETSON is designed to use a fission reactor to generate heat to produce between 6 kWe and 20 kWe of electricity – four times the power of conventional solar arrays without the need to be in continuous sunlight. The reactor draws heavily from the design and lessons of the 2018 Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) demonstration led by NASA and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

“BWXT’s support as the nuclear manufacturer on the JETSON program complements Lockheed Martin’s heritage space flight capabilities and SpaceNukes’ nuclear design expertise,” said Joe Miller, BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC president. “Our extensive nuclear fuel and component manufacturing experience on new and legacy programs, along with our unique infrastructure, will help the team build upon the KRUSTY demonstration, positioning it to deliver and fly a space nuclear system under the JETSON program.”

BWXT’s work on this program will primarily be conducted at the company’s Lynchburg, Virginia-area facilities.


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