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Radiant receives DoD SBIR award for modeling and simulation of energy resilience and nuclear microreactor integration at Hill AFB

Through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Department of Defense, Radiant will develop base modeling and simulation capabilities for key energy resilience scenarios at Hill Air Force Base. Founded by former SpaceX engineers, Radiant is developing Kaleidos, a gas-cooled, high-temperature 1.2MWe portable nuclear microreactor focused on replacing diesel generators to provide zero-emissions power to any location in the world.

While generating electricity, Kaleidos can also provide 1.9 MW of thermal power for facility heating or water desalination. Helium gas transfers heat from the core and does not become radioactive, eliminating the impact of leaks. An air jacket cools the core passively through natural convection, simplifying regulatory approval.


Radiant and Hill AFB will simulate how Kaleidos reactors would provide critical heat and power alongside the base’s system of existing generators, grid electricity, and steam boilers, mitigating outages due to crisis scenarios resulting in long term loss of off base grid power.

Kaleidos is packaged in a shipping container and transported by air, land, or sea to the customer site, and is sent back for refueling after five years of operation. Kaleidos can be fueled a total of 4 times for a 20-year product lifetime/

Kaleidos is fully autonomous, factory constructed, and can be up and running in 2 days or less once on site because it only requires ambient air as the ultimate heat sink. (Radiant is working with Argonne National Laboratory to perform numerical modeling of heat production and removal in Kaleidos.)

During the course of this 21-month partnership between Radiant and Hill AFB, simulations will show how Kaleidos reactors would deliver unprecedented energy resilience in the face of equipment failures, large scale grid outages, cyber attack, or other energy supply threat.

Radiant’s partnership with Hill AFB will culminate in a demonstration of base energy management simulation including a live demonstration that will control a high power boiler unit. Hill AFB is scheduled to perform an Energy Resilience Readiness Exercise in FY25Q1, and this work will enhance their capability to plan and simulate this exercise.


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