Not Ready For Prime Time: After CVEA Drops "Micro-Nuclear Reactor" Project, So Does Eielson AFB

Micro-Nuclear Reactors Are A New "Solution" To High Power Costs  CVEA's Solomon Gulch Hydro Plant In Valdez, Along With Diesel...

Micro-Nuclear Reactors Are A New "Solution" To High Power Costs 

CVEA's Solomon Gulch Hydro Plant In Valdez, Along With Diesel Generators, Currently Powers The Copper Valley & Valdez. Power In The Region Is Expensive. (Photo, CVEA)  

November 19, 2023

Two months ago, in September,  the web was abuzz with the news that Eielson AFB had selected a Silicon Valley firm to build a small "micro-reactor" power plant at the military base in Fairbanks.

Yet, suddenly, in mid-November, 2023, the idea was panned. 

A story in the Alaska Beacon detailed the reasons that Eielson was dropping the concept.

According to the Alaska Beacon:

The U.S. military has rescinded the preliminary award of what could be a nine-figure contract with the company it had tentatively selected to build a small-scale nuclear power plant at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.

The Department of the Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency in August announced an “intent to award” the contract to Oklo — a Silicon Valley startup backed by Sam Altman, who, until his ouster this week, also led the company behind ChatGPT.

In late September, the DLA’s energy arm revoked its decision, citing a need for “further consideration” of its obligations under a specific military contracting regulation, according to a memo sent to a competing bidder and obtained by Northern Journal from another source.

SEE Alaska Beacon Story of Air Force Base Plan Here

CVEA Also Explored Micro-Nuclear Plants

It was at least the second time in only a few months that an Alaskan community has eagerly embraced – and then tossed out – the idea of a miniature nuclear reactor. 

In February, 2022, Copper Valley Electric (CVEA) announced it was looking into nuclear technology to provide electricity in the Copper Valley/Valdez area. They had been working toward a "state-of-the-art" miniature nuclear facility, offered by a Seattle firm called Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation which said it offered flawless, safe nuclear power, with a very small footprint. The CVEA concept brought a lot of buzz on the web then, too:

SEE Google Links To CVEA Micro-Nuclear Plant 

But by August, 2022, after Travis Million, the former head of CVEA, went on to another job elsewhere, the CVEA board quickly backed out of the idea. 

At a virtual meeting on August 30th, 2023, CVEA decided that the proposed nuclear power plant offered "too much economic risk" to local members of the tiny communities on the Eastern side of the road system of Alaska. 

SEE Journal Stories About CVEA Plans Here


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