General Atomics’ Christina Back: New Nuclear Reactor Tech Key for US Objectives

General AtomicsChristina Back, General Atomics vice president for nuclear technologies and materials, has said the U.S. needs to develop new nuclear reactor technologies rather update current platforms in order to meet cost, safety, proliferation and waste objectives.

General Atomics said May 5 Back wrote a testimony for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for a hearing on the status of advanced nuclear technologies.

“It is extremely important that the U.S. resist the temptation to rely almost solely on improving existing technologies that may be at hand and, instead, take the time to develop new leapfrog technologies that may make nuclear energy truly desirable,” Back wrote.

She also described General Atomics’ EM2 reactor concept that works to serve as a helium-cooled, convert-and-burn reactor with a net power of 265 megawatt electrical.

Back — the lead physicist for EM2 — added the reactor is designed to feature ceramic materials that could work in high radiation and high temperature environments.

You may also be interested in...

U.S. Air Force

Air Force Releases RFI for Advanced Reentry Vehicle Technology

The U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons center has launched a market research for advanced planning efforts related to intercontinental ballistic missile and sought input from potential sources of technologies for futute reentry vehicles, including radiation hardened electronics. 


Hermeus Expands Footprint in Atlanta With New Aircraft Assembly Factory

American startup Hermeus will turn a 110,000 square-foot facility in Atlanta into an aircraft assembly factory that will accomodate structures testing and light manufacturing operations and will double as the company's headquarters for its hundreds of employees.

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit’s New LauncherOne Mission to Send DOD, International Satellites to Space in June

Virgin Orbit announced on Thursday that its LauncherOne rocket is fully assembled and will soon be shipped to Mojave Air and Space Port in California for pre-launch operations. The rocket’s upcoming mission is called Tubular Bells, Part One, which will launch CubeSat satellites for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Royal Netherlands Air Force, as well as two optical satellites for SatRevolution. The launch is scheduled for June of this year.