Nuclear and National Defense

The next generation of civilian nuclear technologies—especially small modular reactors (SMRs) and micro nuclear reactors (MNRs)—can advance the US national security mission by providing reliable, resilient power of certain military installations; powering advanced weapons systems; reinvigorating the nuclear supply chain; and supporting US nonproliferation goals, not to mention help decarbonize the energy grid and industrial energy usage. US government support for advanced nuclear technologies will further US national security goals in a new era of great power politics by enhancing US warfighting capabilities. DOD procurement of SMRs and MNRs could help bring the new reactor types to demonstration and commercialization, which would bolster US efforts to compete against Russian and Chinese international civil nuclear exports.

Read the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center Issue Brief for September 2020 entitled “Innovation in Nuclear Energy Technologies:Implications for US National Defense,”  by DR. ROBERT F. ICHORD, JR. AND DR. JENNIFER T. GORDON.

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