Rolls-Royce showed a compact nuclear reactor that could be…

Nuclear reactor Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce showed a compact nuclear reactor that could be used to power a lunar or Mars station.
Nuclear reactor Rolls-Royce

The company posted a picture of the power plant on Twitter and accompanied the image with the following comment: “The Rolls-Royce microreactor is designed to use an inherently safe and extremely reliable form of fuel. Each uranium particle [rod] is encased in multiple protective layers that act as a containment system, allowing it to withstand extreme conditions."

Jake Thompson, Head of Product Innovation at Rolls-Royce, said: “We are also using our experience with nuclear plants to build small reactors that will power bases on the Moon or Mars, providing reliable and clean power for astronauts in these places."

However, Rolls-Royce believes that the scope of compact nuclear reactors is wider. For example, the company is working with the UK Space Agency to explore how nuclear power can be used for other aspects of space exploration.

UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: "Nuclear power opens up new possibilities for space exploration and this groundbreaking research with Rolls-Royce can help send our next generation of astronauts into space faster and longer, greatly expanding our knowledge of our universe." That is, we are talking about spacecraft powered by such a compact nuclear reactor.