While nuclear fusion continues to advance so that we have practically unlimited clean energy, fission, nuclear energy from traditional power plants, continues to be at the forefront of controversy.
Nuclear power plants can help a lot to end the energy crisis, but the risk of having something that generates radioactive waste is too high (history proves this argument right).
On the other hand, taking small nuclear power plants to the Moon doesn’t sound like a bad idea, and in fact NASA has announced that it will contract with three companies to provide designs, so far just concepts, for nuclear fission power systems on our satellite.
The objective, according to NASA in the articleis to allow a reliable source of energy for possible missions to be carried out on the Moon.
The three companies that have won have been Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse and IX (a company resulting from joining Intuitive Machines and X-Energy).
The projects that are submitted will be early concepts, but NASA will pay them $5 million each. The concepts must be delivered within a period of 12 months.
The goal is to have a power generation capacity of 40 kilowatts for about 10 years, enough to support a lunar base, one of the key points of its Artemis program.
What is clear is that it is difficult for a base to depend solely on solar energy, and if not, let them tell the rovers on Mars, whose solar panels get dirty with dust preventing the maximum use of the energy received.