Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Nuclear Engineering

Major Professor

Laurence F. Miller

Committee Members

Ronald E. Pevey, Eric Lukosi


Due to its reliance on the civil electrical grid, the Department of Defense has significant energy security vulnerabilities. DoD does not have energy production capabilities within its organization necessary to sustain the operations of a military installation. Its current installation energy strategy is a combination of energy reduction measures and renewable production efforts. Therefore, increased threats from cyber attacks combined with an aging electrical infrastructure threaten DoD’s energy supply to its installations. The electrical grid provides aggressors an opportune target for weakening military response capabilities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. While DoD is successfully using energy more efficiently, it is failing produce power on the scale needed to secure its energy future.

This paper examines the Department of Defense energy security strategy and identifies a sustainable solution using nuclear power. The increased interest in Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Technology presents the Department of Defense with a power solution that is adaptable to military installation use. This paper examines potential SMRs for commercialization and use on a military installation. It identifies what reactor characteristics are important to the Department of Defense and selects an SMR design to fit DoD’s energy needs. The paper then presents an implementation strategy taking into consideration the unique aspects of siting a small nuclear power facility on a military base. It presents financing options for the facility as well as addressing staffing and management considerations.

Small modular nuclear reactor technology is ideally suited to fill the supply voids in DoD’s energy security portfolio. Through the adoption of reactor technology, DoD not only secures its ability to respond to man-made and natural threats, but it also secures the future of the American people it protects.

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