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Nuclear Batteries: a New Form of Clean and Resilient Energy System for Urban Environments




22: Nuclear Science and Engineering

Faculty Supervisor:

Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno

Faculty email:


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Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno: jacopo@mit.edu

Project Description

Objectives: This project will study the techno-economic and regulatory feasibility of deploying a micro-grid powered by nuclear batteries (small nuclear reactors), to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity, heat, food, medications and transportation fuels in urban environments, particularly underserved neighborhoods in inner cities. The environmental and economic justice value of this project is very high. Scope of Work The team of students and faculty will: * identify example locations in the Boston metropolitan area where NB-powered micro-grids could physically be deployed; * examine the economic feasibility of the micro-grid, i.e., quantify cost targets to replace conventionally produced goods and services with NB-produced goods and services; * examine the regulatory feasibility of the micro-grid, i.e., nuclear regulations to deploy NBs in an urban setting, as well as environmental and urban constraints associated with in-city production activities; * engage community leaders and businesses to evaluate the attractiveness of the micro-grid model. The main deliverable for this project is a final report describing the activities and commenting on the feasibility of the NB-powered micro-grid concept for urban setting. Supervision: Students working on this project will be supervised by Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno (NSE) and Dr. John Parsons (Sloan).


MIT students from all majors and all years are welcome to apply.